New technologies and rationing by post code/region. New treatments and assessments are not available to all UK citizens.

Its good news that we can embrace new technology, and quickly, but the decision raises other issues. Mainly to do with rationing honestly… Other new technologies will follow (Hope of cure for men with aggressive prostate cancer) but whilst there are 4 different health systems, and announcements only apply to one of them, we in Wales will wonder if we can afford what England can. Only this week a friend went to London for a new prostate cancer assessment test (mpMRI) which is not available in Wales. (Sign the petition on line) ( He went Privately) Assessment and staging of Prostate Cancer is essential, and there are far more sufferers than there are with leukaemia.

Paul Kelso for Sky News reports 5th September: NHS England nets ‘game-changing’ childhood leukaemia treatment

The therapy – which has a list price of £282,000 per patient – is currently only available in Europe as part of clinical trials.

The Times also reports: Game-changing NHS treatment to save children with leukaemia

The Telegraph: NHS to fund “game changing” personalised cancer drug.

But can we afford these treatments without rationing the high volume and low cost treatments? How does such technology fit in with “personal health budgets”?

High Tech advances hit NHS funding. A proper debate wont happen however.

Interesting suggestion low cost for high volume treatments to be excluded… GPs will take no notice as their job is to put their patient “at the centre of their concern”.

World class cancer care (and Mental Health care) is possible, if we ration the high volume low cost treatments…

The cost of high tech treatments – that if these become “universal” then the low cost high volume treatments need to be paid for.

Trials of personal budgets will have long term perverse outcomes in an ageing society. Health costs are rising, and geographic variations will become greater….

Wales ‘behind’ in technology to detect prostate cancer – BBC News

Prostate Cancer breakthrough with a more accurate test (Scotland)

PET scans for prostate cancer (Birmingham)


This entry was posted in A Personal View, Commissioning, Good News, 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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