Let’s ban hip operations for smokers

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.

A BMI of 30 looks a little low too. But one can at least see the glimmer of the point – losing weight is a part and parcel of sorting out knee and hip problems. BMI at 30 though does rather catch pretty much everyone with a bit of middle aged spread, doesn’t it?

However, smokers? What’s the justification there? Just that they’re pariahs?

40 thoughts on “Let’s ban hip operations for smokers”

  1. “What’s the justification there?”

    They are one of the few groups of people who can be vilified without risk of protest, or even comment.

  2. If you are refused medical treatment just go down to your local NHS whatever and confiscate property to the value of what the thieves have taken off you in % of your taxes paid to the NHS to supposedly provide you with “free” treatment.

    Go mob-handed and put fat fists into the faces of any agentry sent against you. Plus get some taser proof gear and make a point of disarming and using the torture-toys on any who may have tried to use them on you.

    2 or 3 such incidents will be the end of this insolent “policy” from the bungling losers who can’t turn 120 billion a year into a working health service.

  3. Not because they’re pariahs, that’s just your prejudice.

    There’s an economic necessity to limit resources, and smokers, like the overweight, are more likely to suffer complications (e.g. death) after surgery.

    And by giving you a real incentive to lose weight and stop smoking to get the hip, those who choose to are getting a triple benefit to their long term well being.

  4. Dave C–you should be refused treatment of any sort on the grounds that prolonging the life of crawling state-sucking leftist stooges threatens the future of us all.

  5. Dave C, an excellent idea to withhold treatment for those who have contributed to their problems.
    I look forward to the massive savings achieved by stopping treatment to drug users, anorexics and anyone with sports injuries.
    And seeing as pregnancy is an avoidable and expensive condition, are we cancelling all NHS work related to pregnancy and childbirth as well?

  6. Bloke in North Dorset

    The left should be screaming blue murder at this. Rich fatties and smokers will be able to get health care but not the poor.

    Wasn’t that the driving force behind setting up the NHS and continually lying about Tory plans to impose the US model on us?

  7. So Much For Subtlety

    A BMI of 30 is hardly obese. It is mildly overweight. No more.

    It is probably a healthier weight than whatever the government recommends.

  8. When I was in hospital getting my broken leg fixed, the lad in the next bed was refused surgery (foot/ankle?) because he smoked. Surgeon said he’d be wasting his time trying to fix it as – because of smoking – the patient’s blood circulation was poor, and this would impede the bone’s ability to heal. At least I think that’s what he said.

  9. BMI is a crap measure. And if you want people to be incentivised to lose weight / quit smoking / eat tofu / stop playing contact sports then wouldn’t some sort of personal health insurance system do the job?

    Of course, that would be anathema to those who are so proud of “free at the point of use”, at which time we point them to these proposals and tell them to STFU.

  10. TBH smokers are encouraged to give up before any elective surgery under general anaesthetic because they have a much higher complication rate, (mainly pneumonia,) and slower wound healing, (effect of nicotine on blood vessels): so they do on average occupy hospital beds for longer. OTOH the tax on cigarettes they have paid should entitle them to queue jump.

  11. @Ljh Correct. The surgeons gave me a lot of pressure to give up the fags becuse pneumonia. I smiled, agreed and gave up just before I drove into the hospital car park.

    Surgery took ten hours under general anaesthetic (partial thyroidectomy plus removal of the attached tumour). I was walking the next day, out of hospital on day four, and lit up as we left the car park. Woo fucking hoo! Great joy! And a 1/4 bottle of scotch and a bottle of red to celebrate when I got home 🙂

  12. I welcome the opportunity to opt out of the nhs and spend my money on isurance…. That is the offer, insn’t it? Anything less would just be theft.

    Ecksy, if you’re denied treatment you’ve not been robbed of the premium you paid, but the treatment cost. You need to confiscate more than you assumed.

    If the current model doesn’t work trying to cover lifestyle chioces we need a new model, we can’t have one party reneging on their side of the deal unilaterally.

  13. So Much For Subtlety

    Dave C – “There’s an economic necessity to limit resources, and smokers, like the overweight, are more likely to suffer complications (e.g. death) after surgery.”

    Gay people are more likely to suffer a wide range of health problems. They are far more likely to be non-compliant with their post-op drug regimes. And about half of them will get HIV and eventually die from it – at enormous expense to the rest of us.

    So does economic necessity mean we should cut them off too? How about simply holding HIV drugs to the same price standards that NICE applies to every other disease?

  14. We should encourage smokers and drinkers by giving them special treatment on the NHS, they’re paying for it for themselves and lots of others too, plus they’re saving the nation a fortune in pensions. In fact they should be lauded for their public spirited selflessness regarding their own longevity, and entirely voluntary tax revenue contributions.

    There should be a special fast service area at A&E for the smokers and drinkers, special rooms, high class food, doctors who spring into action at a click of their fingers, comely nurses to mop their fevered brows. They are to be praised and encouraged, not treated like scum.

  15. “There’s an economic necessity to limit resources…”

    As soon as the government uses tax (force) to provide a “service”, it automatically becomes a limited resource to be rationed by the Dave Cunts of the world.

    National Socialist Health Service

    Time to call it what it is.

  16. ““There’s an economic necessity to limit resources…””

    Considering that smokers pay a huge amount in tax on ever pack, far more than their NHS treatment of their conditions, no.

  17. The NHS is a failed healthcare system. No amount of ‘internal markets’ can save it, because healthcare provision for 65+m people is impossible to manage centrally. Like all socialist systems of allocation and distribution, the NHS uses rationing and exhortation. It’s not a bug — puritanism, bureaucracy, etc– but a feature of the NHS system.

    IMO, we need a hypothecated tax for basic healthcare, supplemented by a compulsory (?) private sector insurance scheme that provides incentives to live healthily…so if you declare that you a lard mountain, don’t exercise, booze to excess, smoke, etc., then you pay more. If you are found to have lied, you are prosecuted and have to pay a substantial % of your treatment costs.

    Incentives matter: only with incentives can healthcare rationing be avoided.

  18. ““There’s an economic necessity to limit resources…””

    In 1980, President Jimmy Carter in the Presidential Debate said than only government can manage scarcity fairly. Ronald Reagan said screw that, we’re America, we’ll just make more.

    The necessity to limit resources (sic) is Leftard stupidity.

  19. so if you declare that you a lard mountain, don’t exercise, booze to excess, smoke, etc., then you pay more. If you are found to have lied, you are prosecuted

    Theo, I never knew you were such a fascist..:)

  20. As I’ve got older I’ve got shorter, so my BMI has been increasing even though I’m the same weight I was ten years ago. According to my BMI of 32 I’m obese. I certainly don’t feel obese, though I have a definite spare tyre. Even five years ago when I was cycling 30-40 miles every week my BMI classed me as overweight.

  21. A heavy smoker contributes £2,500 a year to the exchequer (one pack per day, £7 in tax per pack). Googling around, I find that in the USA a fifty year old smoker would pay $1100 (£800) a year more for health insurance than a non-smoker. So yes, we can safely say that smokers subsidise the NHS.

    But their true benefit is money saved in pensions: smokers die ten years earlier, saving the exchequer at least £72,800. And that’s not counting other benefits like free TV licences, council tax, etc.

  22. I advise rugby players in Yorkshire not to get injured. Any forward is likely to have a BMI over 30, even though he could be an athlete and exceptionally fit.

    Soon the ‘obese’ measure will drop to 28, and hey presto mysteriously we will have more ‘obese’ people, even though not s single pound was gained.

    BTW, is the NHS going to sack all of their obese nurses?

  23. Rob: “BTW, is the NHS going to sack all of their obese nurses?”

    Very funny, but it reminded me that the Guardian once revoked my commenting privileges for one of my identities there because I pointed out that so many civil servants, not just nurses, were slow walking, big arsed, buffalo people.

  24. Bloke in North Dorset

    “Rob
    September 3, 2016 at 6:00 pm
    I advise rugby players in Yorkshire not to get injured. Any forward is likely to have a BMI over 30, even though he could be an athlete and exceptionally fit.”

    Indeed. Many moons ago when I was blogging and this sort of story was doing the rounds I calculated the BMI of the Wasps pack, not only were they well over 30 IIRC the props weren’t far off being off the scale.

    “BTW, is the NHS going to sack all of their obese nurses?”

    I’d love to be a fly on the wall when a doctor or nurse with a BMI in the mid 30s tells a patient with a BMI of 30 they can’t have an op.

    And just to show the perversity of it all, a couple of years ago we had a case reported on local TV where a woman had to increase her BMI by a couple of points so she could qualify for an op to have one of those stomach bands.

  25. Government limiting your benefits based on X can limit your benefits based on any damn thing it wants to. They have declared they are Nazis. The only question is: Will you tolerate it? Because you don’t smoke? Cos you aren’t fat?

    Cue Martin Niemöller.

  26. Wow, some of you guys are bitter!

    “amid increasingly desperate measures to plug a funding black hole”

    I thought that sounded like an economic necessity.

  27. PF: so prosecuting people for fraud is fascist, is it?

    Actually, it’s the fact that such quite personal / private information (and we really shouldn’t be encouraging the authoritarians in this respect), and which might even possibly be assessed on qualitative rather than quantitative measures (“moderate” or “average”?), and which could easily vary from month to month, should form the basis of some sort of legal contract, deviation from which one could then be prosecuted for..!!?

    I wasn’t convinced you were being at all serious – but if you are, count me out..;)

  28. So Much For Subtlety

    Fred Z – “it reminded me that the Guardian once revoked my commenting privileges for one of my identities there because I pointed out that so many civil servants, not just nurses, were slow walking, big arsed, buffalo people.”

    A student got punished in America because he referred to some students as buffaloes. In Yiddish I believe. It has its own Wikipedia page!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_buffalo_incident

    And that in turn links to:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Controversies_about_the_word_%22niggardly%22

    What the f*&k is wrong with these people?

  29. PF
    It’s not authoritarian. It would be like applying for travel or car insurance. And with similar exclusions and penalties, if you provide false information.

  30. It’s beginning to get rather academic now isn’t it?
    Who is going to risk elective surgery, now the hospital doctors have re-targeted themselves into a revolutionary political force, that’s determined to be out on strike for about four weeks between now and Christmas? If you develop complications post-op, they won’t be there to fix you. They are withholding A&E cover so there will be periods when there is little or no cover for ward rounds of convalescing patients. It will be all the consultants can do, to keep open for emergency admissions.
    Maybe it’s time our starry eyed notions about the NHS, and the medical profession, were revised.

  31. @ Alex 11
    What makes you think that as many as 1% of sports injuries get treated on the NHS? There is a serious shortage of NHS physiotherapists and sports injuries tend to go to the back of the queue, so if one wants treatment before it’s too late to heal the damage one goes to a private physio.
    Last time I looked nearly 50% of NHS expenditure was related to childbirth and pregnancy (or avoiding it). So rationing that would pretty much sort out the NHS funding problem.

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