The elderly are already less important in an ageing society. Why adopt a performance indicator to make it worse?

Oliver Moody reports in The Times 30th May 2015: Elderly at risk from ageist health targets, say experts – The elderly are already less important in an ageing society.  Why adopt a performance indicator to make it worse? (We know Caring for your elderly and continuous care can be impossible, and that Elderly get just five minutes of care) Rationing overtly and in advance would be acceptable, but unfortunately it will be knee jerk and sudden……

Pressure is mounting on the government to persuade the United Nations into a late U-turn on a global health target which critics say could lead to the “ageist” neglect of elderly patients.

Leading international development experts have warned that the proposals to cut premature deaths by a third worldwide within 15 years could lead to “institutionalised discrimination”.

The UN plans to make its member states pledge to reduce the number of premature deaths among under-70s from non-infectious diseases such as heart attacks, strokes, cancer and dementia by 2030.

In a letter to The Lancet, however, experts said that the target was “deeply troubling” in ethical terms and urged British officials to take the lead in fighting to extend it to cover the elderly.

Peter Lloyd-Sherlock, professor of social policy and development at the University of East Anglia, said it was unlikely that the NHS would be forced into the changes as it was forbidden by law from discriminating on age.

It could, however, lead health authorities to concentrate on treating younger people at the expense of over-70s and exacerbate the gaps that are already widening between the generations, he said.

The target is expected to be ratified by all UN member states in September. The Department for International Development, whose officials are representing Britain in the talks, is understood to see “little scope for renegotiation” at such a late hour.

This entry was posted in A Personal View, NHS managers, 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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