Britain’s NHS or National Health Service has begun rationing even more operations in an attempt to reduce rising costs and save the NHS program some money. Over 2/3rds of England’s health trusts are limiting, or rationing, the treatments to patients with conditions deemed “non urgent.”
Through the series of rationing, the NHS plans on saving 20 billion pounds over the next four years. Included in the cuts are one in three primary care trusts have also restricted funding to many procedures over the past 12 months.
Examples of the procedures and surgeries being rationed are:
- Grommets for children’s hearing require 6 months monitoring and will only be inserted in extreme situations
- Tonsillectomy ( removing the tonsils) can only be done if the child had seven instances of tonsillitis the previous year
- Cataract operations will not be done until the sight problems significantly affects work
Other procedures that are under review for being cut include gynecology, gastroenterology, orthopedics and dermatology. Instead of normal procedures, many doctors and hospitals are being encouraged to treat patients with homeopathic treatments.
Over the past year over 35% of primary care trusts have added more procedures to their list of operations/ procedures not to fund. They deem them unnecessary or unhelpful despite the fact that thousands line up for the specific procedures each year.
Many in the industry believe the government should focus on setting a consistent set of national standards on what procedures should be deemed as “low priority” to allow agencies to easily recognize and have a set of guidelines to set priorities in administering aid to maximize health gains. Across the nation the many primary care trusts have their own individual criteria and mandates, leading to substantial differences among primary care trusts and results in confusion in their patients.
Already since the further rationing has begun the outcry from patients have already begun. Patients that used to get their ailments treated are now being turned away, despite paying into the NHS. They are being left to suffer for longer lengths of times if even ever treated at all for their conditions that the government now deems unnecessary.