Undeserved free gifts – which reduce self sufficiency, discourage healthy lifestyles, & encourage excess.

Do we believe in “undeserved free gifts – which reduce self sufficiency, discourage healthy lifestyles, & encourage excess.” I believe patients and citizens should have responsibility for their own bodies, and the philosophy of “everything for everyone for ever” needs to be challenged. Why cannot these proposed services be linked to means, or volunteering, or exercise take-up, or a combination of these? Why can’t there be co-payments, if necessary on loans? Alcohol, obesity and poor sedentary and dietary lifestyles need to change, and “tablets for drinkers”, and “operations for obesity” are not going to help. They are perverse, in that they encourage the very behaviours we seek to change because patients feel they have a right to treatment. It is an emphasis on duties rather than rights, or individual and family responsibilities rather than expanded expensive services that is needed. The Regional Health Services will go bust, and those very services which are needed for cancer, stroke and heart diseases will be reduced, and waiting times increase, if we spend our limited funds chasing illusions.. I think I have answered a question NHSreality posed in an earlier post: What’s the opposite of “deserts based rationing”? Of course, commissioners in poorer areas (like Wales) will be unable to afford NICE recommendations compared to richer areas where the operations are needed less frequently!

BBC News reports 27th November 2014: NICE: Weight loss ops ‘good for obesity-linked diabetes’

The Independent 26th November 2014 reports: New £3 pill that will help stop you drinking too much available on the NHS

and Mark Lefty adds on the same day in the same paper: Alcohol is far more deadly than cannabis, former minister Norman Baker says 

John Bingham in The Telegraph 27th November 2014 reports: Childhood obesity surges between ages of seven and 11, study shows

Schools urges to step in as major study pinpoints obesity window between ages of seven and 11



This entry was posted in A Personal View, Commissioning, Perverse Incentives, Post Code Lottery, Rationing, Stories in the Media on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

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