Obese People and Smokers Get Snubbed by Britian’s Medical System


This just in from Britain’s National Health Service:

Obese people will be routinely refused operations across the NHS, health service bosses have warned, after one authority said it would limit procedures on an unprecedented scale.

Hospital leaders in North Yorkshire said that patients with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or above – as well as smokers – will be barred from most surgery for up to a year amid increasingly desperate measures to plug a funding black hole. The restrictions will apply to standard hip and knee operations.

Chris Hopson, the head of NHS Providers, which represents acute care, ambulance and community services, said: “I think we are going to see more and more decisions like this.


Welcome to rationing.  As simple and as bad as it may sound, sometimes there is some validity to it.  If you decide to ration because money is an issue then some people will just NOT get treated.  It is what it is.  I find it funny when the national health system advocates or single payer system advocates over here in the US think that this is a bad thing.  You cannot have it both ways. In other words, there cannot be an all-you-can-eat buffet of healthcare just because we eliminate the insurance companies.  Just like they ration, we would ration. Just like the NHS is waitlisting the obese and the smokers then, dare I say, we would do the same thing.  

And then all hell would break loose.

Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  7 comments for “Obese People and Smokers Get Snubbed by Britian’s Medical System

  1. September 10, 2016 at 6:43 pm

    its infuriating to me that obamacare charges no extra premium for these conditions–
    I work very hard at keeping my weight down and I don’t smoke and I think people who willingly put themselves at higher risk for health issues should have to pay more.

  2. Mary Heen Morrow MD
    September 8, 2016 at 9:07 am

    I have already heard that our loca hospital has told the ortho’s to not schedule joint replacements until ñm I is less than 30 and not even then if they smoke. So it is here already…just on the down-low.

    • Kurt
      September 9, 2016 at 9:41 am

      The lawyers will have a field day with this one. There will have to be a waiver that the fatties and smokers can’t sue in this country for rationing to be successful. If not, primary care doctors will leave to be greeters at Wal-Mart if we’re held accountable for not “pushing” hard enough to get the fatties and smokers their “needed” procedures.
      I too have seen Orthos refuse joint replacements on fatties. Their data shows the risk of infection goes way up so I don’t blame them.
      Guess what? Pain is a great motivator and I’ve seen people who refused to eat a reasonable diet, start to lose weight to be considered for hip surgery.

  3. HJR
    September 7, 2016 at 10:31 am

    Good for them. It’s a lot better than having every insurance company tell your patients that they refused payment, “but all your doctor has to do is waste his unbillable time calling us and saying, ‘Pwetty pwetty pwease’ and maybe we’ll change our mind.”

  4. Perry
    September 7, 2016 at 10:14 am

    “And then all hell would break loose.”

    And by then, it will be too late.

  5. September 7, 2016 at 7:54 am

    Nailed it: “there cannot be an all-you-can-eat buffet of healthcare just because we eliminate the insurance companies”.

  6. Thomas Guastavino
    September 7, 2016 at 6:19 am

    These patients are getting avoided here but because of quality based reimbursement. Rationing comes in many different forms.

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