The Conservatives just ended universal healthcare. Certain groups will be banned from surgery.

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The Conservative government’s budget cuts are forcing the NHS to abandon universal health care. Under immense pressure from Conservative austerity, the NHS will ban smokers and obese people from surgery “indefinitely”, according to proposals from Clinical Commissiong Groups (CCGs) in Hertfordshire.

Ian Eardley, senior vice president of the Royal College of Surgeons, condemned the plans:

Singling out patients in this way goes against the principles of the NHS. This goes against clinical guidance and leaves patients waiting long periods of time in pain and discomfort. It can even lead to worse outcomes following surgery in some cases. There is simply no justification for these policies, and we urge all clinical commissioning groups to urgently reverse these discriminatory measures.

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But East and North Hertfordshire CCG and Herts Valleys, who drew up the proposals, don’t agree. They say banning smokers and overweight people would encourage patients:

to take more responsibility for their own health and wellbeing, wherever possible, freeing up limited NHS resources for priority treatment

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‘The Tories are strangling the NHS’

Yet NHS staff came forward during the general election to say that resources do not need to be “limited”. A broad range of NHS workers said the Conservatives are deliberately defunding the NHS:

Now the Conservatives have defunded the NHS to the point where CCGs are planning to abandon universal healthcare. Senior surgeon Eardley worries that plans to ban smokers and obese people are merely the “tip of the iceberg”. Under the plans, unless people with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or more lose enough weight in nine months, they face being indefinitely banned from surgery.

The proposals come just after Jeremy Hunt floated the idea of preventing walk-in patients from accessing emergency services.

Privatisation

Campaigners say that the Conservatives have an ultimate aim with our healthcare. The government is defunding the public NHS in order to create the need for a privatised healthcare system.

Of course, the Conservatives’ privatisation strategy would be under the radar. The British public cherish the NHS. That’s why, when the Tories proposed moving to a pay-NHS in 2015, they did it very quietly.

The Conservatives seem to be deliberately setting the NHS on course to crash and burn. Then the private sector could swoop in and ‘save the day’. Take a look at how much the Conservative government has defunded our health service, according to its own figures:

By crippling healthcare budgets, the Conservative government is forcing the NHS to make drastic decisions on care. But a fully public healthcare system is the cheapest for consumers. In 2014, the US spent 17.1% of its GDP on healthcare – without providing cover to all citizens. In the same year, the UK spent just 9.1% of its GDP on healthcare, while providing universal cover. The major difference across the Atlantic is that private companies are making huge profits. Whereas if healthcare is public, we can reinvest profits into the service.

So don’t buy Conservative propaganda that the money isn’t there. Or we’ll end up renting our healthcare from private companies at much higher costs, with no more NHS. Indeed, these proposals to ban certain people from surgery look like the beginning of the end for universal healthcare in the UK.

Get Involved!

– Read more from The Canary on NHS privatisation.

– You can also take action with Keep Our NHS Public.

Featured image via Channel 4 News

Chart via The Independent

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