The NHS prepares to cut back on 17 procedures to save £200 million a year, including breast reductions, tonsil removals and snoring operations. Varicose vein surgery, haemorrhoid operations and procedures to remove harmless skin lesions could also be cut under the plans.
The policies endeavour to stop more than 100,000 unnecessary procedures taking place in the United Kingdom yearly and hundreds of millions of pounds could be saved every year by tightening guidelines for treatments where the dangers outweigh the advantages.
The announced proposals will ensure procedures, such as those for carpal tunnel and lesions on eyelids, will only take place where there’s a good motive to do so and alternative procedures such as injections, changes of diet or physiotherapy will be effective in the majority of circumstances.
Evidently, by decreasing random or dangerous procedures for some patients can get favourable results while diminishing waste and targeting resource to where it is most demanded and the first step is looking at situations where surgery is better circumvented.
It was stated that at best, inconvenience or disappointment to patients by offering treatments that are not effective and, at worst, hurting patients will no longer be done, which leads me to this enigma, if they knew that offering these procedures were not effective or harming patients, why were they being done in the first place?
NHS England’s board of directors will convene next week to examine the proposals which will then be put out to consultation.
Other procedures on the list of 17 include grommets for glue ear and hysterectomies for heavy menstrual bleeding, with the policies drawn up in consultation with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) and four of them will be offered only when a patient makes a particular request, with the other 13 being allowed only when particular criteria are satisfied.
Apparently, it has become common to associate an action with treatment, but now, sometimes doing nothing, or doing less, actually is the safest method and treatments and procedures that bear a high risk or are linked with serious side effects will only be allowed when there is proof that the advantages are worthwhile.
Now they want an important and realistic talk with the public, patients and clinicians about what can be expected from the NHS within the stifled reserves it has available.
The proposals put forward by NHS England would see the commissioning of the following 17 procedures diminished or discontinued and other, less invasive, procedures will be used instead to preserve money.
Four procedures will only be given upon a demand by the patient.
Dilation and curettage for heavy menstrual bleeding
Knee arthroscopies for osteoarthritis
Injections for non-specific back pain
An additional 13 treatments will only be allowed when certain conditions are met.
Removal of benign skin lesions
Grommets for glue ear
Hysterectomy for heavy menstrual bleeding
Removal of lesions on eyelids
Removal of bone spurs for shoulder pain
Carpal tunnel syndrome release
Dupuytren’s contracture release
Excision of small, non-cancerous lumps on the wrist called ganglia
Trigger finger release
Varicose vein surgery
These so-called minor procedures are sometimes life savers for people who would profit from them and some people who have had these procedures would not have been able to work and would have spent years on the sick, so it’s hardly a saving.
A hundred billion in tax breaks for the wealthy and two hundred million more in austerity savings by the Tory government on those who are the poorest in society and that’s not fair.
Gradually the Tories are dismembering and tearing apart the NHS for privatisation but when the actuality of taxes and VAT remain the same, you will end up with a health insurance bill that will cost you three more times than your healthcare.
It’s a sad day when the Tory government has its voters thinking its all the immigrant’s fault, divide and conquer, whilst the wealthy sit back and count their profitable earnings.
Now they’re saying that patients should be charged for GP and hospital appointments and the radical move would end the system of an NHS free at the point of delivery and those backing the scheme say charges are preferable to the covert rationing of healthcare which they say has become endemic.
They said charges to see doctors would dissuade people with insignificant infirmities from jamming up GP surgeries and a number of doctors have previously asked for the introduction of a £25 charge to see GPs, but so far the BMA has not approved the policy.
But earlier this year polling of GPs saw eight in 10 were in support of charges for some services and the purpose of the proposal was to decrease stress on the NHS, by helping patients to take more responsibility.
Supposedly, there is a huge amount of demand in general practice and they’re just putting a shot across the bow saying that this is something to be analysed for improving the flood of patients going through general practice doors who might perhaps think twice about doing it.
Now they’re saying that too many patients are visiting GPs when they would have improved after a few days rest or could have seen a pharmacist but more men than women are hesitant to ask for medical help from their GP and some men it has been observed are already in the advanced stages of testicular cancer which has spread to their brain and lungs by the time they see a GP and promoting this so-called flood of patients would make this hesitation detrimental for ALL patients.
Patients will ignore warning signs if there is going to be a restraint on seeing a GP because they will just think they’re wasting time when time is what they don’t have and as it stands, a survey for the Everyman Male Cancer Campaign suggested that almost twice as many men as women had not visited their GP in the past year.
Evidence implies fewer men go to dentists or ask the pharmacist for help and information, or frequent contraception clinics, although men are more prone to end up in the hospital because they delay for so long which then puts more stress on our hospitals and less on our GPs but shouldn’t the point of contact be on our GPs first?
Even male cancer helplines are used more by women, talking on behalf of partners, fathers or sons. And the fact that more women get skin cancer than men but more men die from it, indicates how late men are going to doctors.
Historically women have always been the gatekeepers of well-being in the family and it could also be argued that women use the NHS at an earlier age because of contraception or childbirth and they’re usually more in tune with developments in their bodies and therefore visit a GP more frequently.
At the moment Cancer survival rates in the United Kingdom are amongst the lowest in Europe because both sexes are for some reason less likely to go to a doctor and then their cancer is diagnosed too late and soon they won’t go to their GP at all because they’ll think that they’re wasting time.
A GP is the person you go to see when you think something is wrong with you, it shouldn’t matter if it turns out that there is nothing wrong but a person should feel comfortable enough to go and visit one, particularly if they’ve been with that practice for a really long time, what happened to the trusted GP? Now it’s all about making a buck or two…
It’s very disturbing when people, especially young men feel they can’t go and seek medical attention until their symptoms become almost life-threatening. However, this culture is evolving and more people are going to see their GP but now they want to put a stop on it which suggests that life-threatening conditions will be disregarded because people will be too frightened to visit their GP for fear of wasting their time.
The access times and attitudes of GPs has shifted considerably and some doctors have this patronising manner and some doctors can be pretty dismissive, so it’s no wonder that men don’t take their symptoms to the doctor until it’s pretty serious.
Loads of men don’t visit the doctor because they shrug off their symptoms either as bravado or simply because it doesn’t seem important enough, which is very ironic because the stereotype is that when men get man-flu they seem to think things are more serious than they actually are.
The other reason is that they don’t want to put the doctors out and take precious time away from those seen to be sicker than they are and this is heightened by overburdened GPs want to get through their daily surgery, given the impression of rushing their patients through.
Then patients believe they’ve put out a GP by them with what they consider minor symptoms and then they don’t go back again.
Sadly, some GPs can end up being condescending and demeaning because GPs are overburdened and patients end up never going back again or request for another GP at the surgery and such behaviour can steer patients away.
But there should be strict rules about how GPs speak to their patients as this can drive patients away and affect a patients health
There must be strict rules about how GPs can speak to their patients as this can drive patients away and affect patients’ health, particularly those patients that are very ill.
Making medical self-observation a component of school education along with some fundamental medical education and the capacity to tell symptoms of certain ailments should be as essential as elementary maths or English.
It would also be advantageous to implement a yearly health checkup for every person. It doesn’t need to be high tech, just a 20-minute appointment with your GP to do some fundamental examinations and a chat but I again this would put too much pressure on the NHS (or too much money.)
It should be mandatory for men and women to have routine examinations at the doctors for cancer because too often we hear of people being diagnosed too late and we should all granted the chance to be periodically reviewed by our GP.
Perhaps we should all have extensive health examinations on an annual basis but this would mean more GPs or them having to work weekends, but what’s the price for a human life?
Should the Government consider alternative means of financing the NHS and consider co-payment from patients? And even if it was necessary to consider co-payments for NHS clinical services to re-establish sufficient provision, would the service really get any better?
Each aspect of your life you pay for whether it’s your holiday, your home, your car or whether or not your children go to private school.
But not everybody lives a privileged life especially when we’re at a time when there’s a rise in homelessness and people have to go to food banks. There are already people who can’t afford to see a dentist and soon they won’t be able to access a doctor and we’ll be back to before the NHS was founded.
Richard Branson recently sued the NHS for £2,000,000 and the way it’s going, he’s surrounding the NHS like a rotten carcass and when he descends, our healthcare will be his business.
There are people out there that would be prepared to pay money to see their doctor and if they can afford that, then that’s great, but there are those that can’t afford it and those that can afford it, then they can afford to pay for private healthcare.
The thing that people don’t understand is that if you complain it gives the government more incentive to sell off the NHS.
However, in Switzerland, everybody has health insurance. It’s mandatory.
They can determine which health insurer to go for, whereas in Britain you’re effectively forced to take out a government policy.
In Switzerland, the health insurers, in their turn, have contracts with doctors and hospitals, so there’s a choice and competition at two levels: among insurers and among healthcare providers.
So, what about the poor? Well, they’re compulsorily covered too. If they don’t have enough money to pay a premium, it’s paid for them.
Of course, this is up for debate and are we in Britain worshipping the false god of the NHS, clearly, we need better healthcare and other countries have moved on, so should we?
Operations are always done on the evidence of need and you have to meet guidelines to have the operations done on the NHS so not much will improve.
While small breasts may produce aesthetic distress due to an observed failure to accomplish specific beauty criteria, big breasts produce serious health problems.
Enlarged breasts in females are called macromastia and in males ginecomastia. Men normally suffer from ginecomastia because of extremely complex health maladies such as obesity, pituitary gland, a gland in the brain producing hormones regulating organism functions, tumour and hyperprolactinemia, a raised hormone absorption in blood, which in females is necessary for breastfeeding, whereas women may have bigger breasts without any systemic pathology.
Normally, women with bigger breasts complain about a backache, pain in the neck, migraine, chafing, heat rash, restricted physical exercise, yeast infections, striae, scar-like streaks and a serious emotional malady.
Several sorts of pain arise because of poor posture and persistent nerve problems because the mass of breasts degrades the spine formation and leads to nerve compression.
Consequently, different kinds of pain arise and even though the pain can be subdued with medications they don’t eliminate the central problem and damage.
Non–steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as Ibuprofen, Diclofenac, Ketorolac and others may be provisionally helpful but also, skin is usually damaged because rubbing, heat and sweating make the skin more exposed to injuries, therefore big breasts are much more receptive to infections, inflammation and chafing.
Furthermore, the quick growth of breasts results in striae because our skin is flexible and if growth is very fast it tears apart leaving scar like streaks and the skin is further damaged by wide trenches on the shoulders from bra strap pressure.
Even though women are normally eager to have big breasts, those who have frequently encounter emotional pain. They find it hard to get appropriate clothes and they feel uncomfortable because of the sweating, rashes and restrictions to exercise unobstructedly.
The lack of physical movement itself causes weight gain, bad physical condition and health dilemmas and teens in such circumstances are particularly exposed to being made fun of which can lead to a poor emotional condition.
Women that have a breast conversion do not do so casually and do so because the problems that they’re getting exceed the dangers of having surgery and women with an enlarged body mass index have worse postoperative outcomes and more complexities than women with a healthy mass.
And the loss of the nipples and areola, asymmetry and sensitivities are the most frequent complexity of this intervention and the operation is done under general anaesthesia and only in hospitals.
An Ipsos Mori poll of more than 1,000 adults found 71 per cent backed the idea of charges for missed GP and hospital appointments and 47 per cent supported charging patients who have conditions and ailments which are created in some way by their lifestyle.
In total, 47 per cent of those surveyed supported this but the chemical obesogen theory speculates that artificial, environmental contaminants are adding to the global pandemic of obesity.
In fact, intentional food additives e.g., artificial sweeteners and colours, emulsifiers and unintentional compounds e.g., bisphenol A, pesticides are extensively unstudied in respect to their impacts on overall metabolic homeostasis.
Since the industrial revolution, the goals of food technology have predominately been maximizing palatability, optimizing process performance, extending shelf life, diminishing cost, and developing food safety free from deadly diseases, bacteria, and fungi and you’d have to be a fun guy to eat this stuff.
As such, over 4,000 different components have entered the food chain, some deliberately such as preservatives and some accidentally such as bisphenol A, BPA, and there are 1,500 new composites that access the food chain every year.
And while food processing methods are continually being optimized to reduce deadly composites and toxicants such as lead, melamine, and aflatoxin, other non-toxic additives are not fully examined for their continuous, additive, and/or combined impacts on the human anatomy.
Obesity, although a chronic condition is not because we have become a society of ravenous animals it’s because the food is intended to make us eat it involuntarily and obesity and associated chronic ailments are growing at startling proportions.
But this trend continues despite heightened awareness, nutritional and behavioural investigation, the number of diet foods available, and even gym memberships.
The smell of baked goods floats towards you as the supermarket doors slide open and your belly does a drum roll and your mouth waters at the sight and scent of so much food.
Despite your best intentions, you surrender to the deals and offers that you don’t really want.
Why not get two bags of crisps for the price of one? Before you know it, your shopping trolley is loaded and that chocolate bar you grabbed at the checkout is in your mouth. That’s because we live in a food environment that doesn’t value your health and evidence is mounting that some foods, particularly those high in fat, salt and sugar, are not easy to resist.
Food addiction actually shares common brain activity with alcohol dependence and these high-fat, high-sugar foods also tend to be inexpensive and easily accessible, and heavily associated with chronic disease.
But this toxic food culture pervades our society and our current food climate sets us up for healthy food choice failure. But when we overeat and weight gain happens, society is there to dole out blame and shame for our crime.
But isn’t this entrapment?
Blame and shame for unhealthy behaviours happen because obesity is usually constructed as an argument of personal accountability. In this narrative, we simply are guilty of what goes into our mouths and if we gain weight, it’s a consequence of greed, laziness and a lack of willpower.
Any efforts to restructure our food environments so they’re more supportive of well-being are frequently reprimanded as disallowing freedom of choice and actions such as taxes on sweet drinks, for instance, are referred to as the actions of a nanny state.
Food companies and retailers appear especially enamoured with this debate and they actively support a dogma that the global obesity dilemma emerges essentially from loss of exercise and carefully minimize the impact of over-eating processed foods and drinks.
But what if we reframe the dispute over personal preference and collective blame by thinking of our modern food environment in the same way as the legal defence of criminal entrapment?
Criminal entrapment happens when law enforcement sets people up to perform a transgression they may not otherwise engage in, i.e., eating ourselves to death, then punishes them for it.
Let’s examine what it looks like if the food industry was put into the role of law enforcement, and the defendant is you, a member of the community seeking to make healthy food choices.
The food industry massively sells harmful food products, particularly to kids, causing over-consumption (the crime), but sadly, their business model usually depends on it.
Food marketing often uses powerful tactics to entice you to eat and overeat their products. Examples include supersizing, meal deals, buy-one-get-one-free offers and priority product placement.
Now you find yourself in an environment that undermines healthy eating, and instead drives energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods. These are affordable to buy, massively promoted and, let’s face it, usually pretty appetizing.
The food industry has spent a vast abundance of money working out what pushes your buttons when it comes with flavour and taste.
Confronted with all this temptation, you duly perform the wrong of over-consumption (the trap), frequently oblivious of the environmental suggestions and manipulations to which you have been exposed but the idea of committing the crime of over-consumption came from the food industry, and NOT you.
And the food industry persuaded you to commit the sin of over-consumption using powerful tactics. You tried to make healthy food decisions because you weren’t ready and willing to commit this sin before being persuaded to do so.
Of course, not everyone is going to fall prey to this environmental entrapment. But there’s enough proof to know that while people are aware of the risks of over-consuming energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods, healthy eating is not that simple.
Our modern food environment is not reflective of current recommendations for good health, or for defending ourselves against illnesses such as cancer. Neither is it supportive of health within populations that are most at risk, like kids or those experiencing food insecurity.
Can reforming the problem around environmental entrapment help to gather public support for better food environments? If nothing else, it may start a conversation about the quality of our food stores and the tactics that the food industry uses to impair our abilities to eat in ways that decrease the weight of chronic illnesses.
Charging patients for GP appointments would go against one of the founding principles of the NHS, that care is free at the point of need. But nothing is free now and if it is, we have to ask why.
It’s really sickening because people are paying for this baloney but of course, we can’t moan about it and things are going to get worse, particularly now the uncertainty of Brexit is beginning to actually take hold now.
We all know that it was a mistake to vote into the EU but you can’t close the stable door after the horse has bolted and our country is falling to pieces. It won’t be long before Scotland leaves us and they’ll go back into Europe and we’ll be left behind in a third world country sitting on our own.