Obesity threatens NHS and takes resources from deserving

From: Barrie Frost, Watson’s Lane, Reighton, Filey.

HOSPITAL admissions for obesity have risen by more than 30 per cent with the number of gastric band procedures soaring by 70 per cent in the last year or so (Yorkshire Post, February 25).

NHS hospital admissions in 2009/10 numbered over 10,000 for cases where obesity was the main reason for treatment and is over 10 times higher than the number of only a decade ago and a huge increase of around one third compared with only a year earlier. They were largely non-existent 20/30 years ago.

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As well as the soaring number of operations to help people lose weight there are also thousands of people being prescribed weight-loss pills. It is believed that the rise in obesity treatments will escalate by similar margins in the next year.

Will the NHS, as we know it, be able to survive if this continues?

With only a very few exceptions, the obese state of these people is entirely of their own making, due to sheer gluttony and their apparent inability or unwillingness to stop stuffing themselves with mountains of unnecessary food.

Should the NHS budget, funded by taxpayers, include huge sums of money for treating people who wilfully ignore all advice only to then expect all others to pay for their hospital care? These conditions are not the result of accidents but are brought about solely by the individual’s own behaviour.

If Britain had unlimited amounts of cash and a surfeit of nurses and hospital facilities this would, no doubt, be acceptable, but all of this is happening at a time when too many others, particularly sick elderly people are being neglected.

To me, it appears that money is always found to treat self -indulgent “illnesses” and I have to wonder if it has been obtained from that set aside for treating the elderly?

How else can the money be found for the explosion of these procedures, without depriving those who have not been responsible for their medical condition?

Those who sanction such operations and expenditure and leave the elderly as some kind of inconvenience, obviously do not envisage a time when they too will grow old, and they appear to have a very misguided sense of patient care and what the real responsibilities of the NHS should be.