Fat Bastards suffer like they should

The UK has finally implemented an unofficial Fat Bastard Tax, by refusing fatties surgery, preferring instead to treat people who aren’t obese.

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.

The decision, described by the Royal College of Surgeons as the “most severe the modern NHS has ever seen”, led to warnings that other trusts will soon be forced to follow suit and rationing will become the norm if the current funding crisis continues.

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.

“It’s the only way providers are going to be able to balance their books, and in a way you have to applaud their honesty. You can see why they’re doing this – the service is bursting at the seams.”

[…]   

Under the latest restrictions, patients in the catchment area who have a BMI of 30 or more will be barred from routine surgery for non-life-threatening conditions for a year, although they may secure a referral sooner if they shed 10 per cent of their weight.

A BMI – weight in kilograms divided by height in metres squared – of 30 is the point at which a person is classed as obese and, on current estimates, more than half the population could be classified as such by 2050.

The BMI is a blunt instrument, but some sort of measure is needed to combat fat bastards fatness. Sugar taxes and Fat taxes won’t work because these behemoths shove food into their bodies faster than they can work it off sitting on the couch.

Smokers who refuse to quit will have planned operations postponed for six months, but may be included on surgeons’ waiting lists earlier by proving they have given up for at least eight weeks.

The ban will not apply to cancer patients, or those with some conditions that could becoming life-threatening, or if exceptional circumstances can be shown.

The restrictions echo others made by health bosses in Hertfordshire, the North West and London in the past two years, where blanket referral bans were imposed on patients on the basis of their weight.

[…]

A spokesman for NHS England added: “Major surgery poses much higher risks for severely overweight patients who smoke. So local GP-led Clinical Commissioning Groups are entirely right to ensure these patients first get support to lose weight and try and stop smoking before their hip or knee operation. Reducing obesity and cutting smoking not only benefits patients, but saves the NHS and taxpayers millions of pounds.

“This does not and cannot mean blanket bans on particular patients such as smokers getting operations, which would be inconsistent with the NHS constitution.

The solution is simple. A Fat Bastard Tax, tax the fat bastard not the ingredients in their food. The public health troughers who campaign on all this like to use measures which are successful against the tobacco industry.

I wonder when Fat Bastards will be banned from eating in staff cafeterias, forced to eat on the streets in the middle of winter, and made pariahs in every public establishment.

 

-The Telegraph

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  • bilgewater

    Should be that also hospital treatment related to alcohol not be treated. Any injuries that could be construed as self inflicted such as sports injuries etc should not be treated. Maybe if one indulges in sexual activity and contracts aids. The list goes on and on.

    • anniem

      The list could go on and on, you are right. But this is a decision from the NHS to balance the books. Got to start somewhere and IMHO this is a reasonable place. There is some wiggle room for the obese, lose some weight and we will reconsider.

      • gander

        There is some wiggle room for the obese

        (wincing)

        Seriously, if resources are limited, devote them to the patients who have the best chance of successful outcomes.

  • John

    Maybe get rid of the socialist medical systems entirely then people might be allowed to get what they pay for.

  • XCIA

    The sporting fraternity should also be banned when they wear out their joints.

    • Wheninrome

      They get instant surgery – ACC.

  • Second time around

    Overall obese people suffer more complications in surgery, as do older people, premature babies, diabetics, the anorexic and more. For a non urgent procedure it is reasonable to ask a person to move towards a normal weight if the change in weight is realistic and would make a significant difference to the risk. Otherwise it is just a politically acceptable way of blaming chronic health underfunding on fatties and ugly people.

  • oldmanNZ

    im 98kg
    1.8m high
    make my BMI just over 30? so Im obese

    if you see me, you probably imaging someone like KDC, only Im not
    Muscles are heavier than fat, I probably have more muscles than fat, and I suspect a lot of people in physical work , like rugby players, have a over 30 BMI.

    so all these limpy skinny people who eat vegan and dont do any physical work gets all the benifits?

    • STAG

      183 and 96kg 29.6. Still get my knee operation fattie 😉.

    • ex-JAFA

      Yes, BMI is a ridiculous measure of health. Athletes have a high BMI because muscle is heavy and they have a lot of it.

    • Rightsideofthebed

      95Kg and 1.76 – knew I need to lose a couple of kilos :)

  • Brian Anderson

    For many years obese patients presenting for replacement of weight-bearing joints ie. hips and knees, were routinely deferred until they reduced weight to a target point.
    The rationale of this was the unacceptable complication/failure rate of the procedure.
    Then it was judged that such a practice was ‘discriminatory’ and we were obliged to operate on everyone judged to ‘need’ the procedure.
    I assure you that both surgeons and anaesthetist hate obese patients and replacing an artificial hip joint for, possibly, the third time after it has torn free of the bone because it isn’t capable of carrying the weight is not a lot of fun – for anyone.
    At least laparoscopic surgery has made things like gall bladder surgery and hysterectomies rather less of a struggle – except for the anaesthetist.

  • Mark156

    bursting at the seams…a bit like their trousers…

  • Doug

    I wouldn’t celebrate too fast… If this proves successful would they decide people that drink need to wait? Would they decide people that consume sugar need to wait? If vegans became too big, would they be able to pressure the system to refuse treatment to people consumed animal products?
    Anyway they are using BMI, an extremely crude tool. My nephew is about height and according to this my ideal weight. He is yet to put any significant muscle on, and is to me if he was adult almost unhealthy in size.

  • Grizz30

    If this rule was applied in NZ elective surgery would stop overnight.

  • GCMC

    As a FB who worked & paid taxes for 49 years, I’d be more than a little irked if I were to be refused an operation because of my BMI.
    I should hope, at least, to be higher in the pecking order than a skinny beneficiary.
    Perhaps, this is an opportunity to to allow taxpayers to opt out of the public health system & take that portion of their taxes to a private health provider.

    • Boss Hogg

      Refer to comment by Brian A below. One of my family is an anesthetist and the worst is a smoker FB on medication(s). If you talked to one about what the increased risks are you would be getting into shape before surgery – I promise you. Taxes paid can not mitigate risk in the operating room.

  • Superman

    This probably won’t fly. It will be called discriminatory or “fattist” or something. Someone is sure to call it racist (somehow). Let’s wait and see what happens.

  • Rebecca

    Obesity has very strong association with higher risk and much higher cost of surgical care. Along with all the other known health risks, experts increasingly associate it with worst forms of gynae cancer as well as diabetes and other hugely expensive chronic illness that already drains the public health dollar.

    If only it were possible to persuade “fat bastards” to lose weight apart from bans and taxes. I know WO has a ding-dong with some academics at the moment but actually you’re both on the same side re the perils of the obesity trend: the disagreement seems to be over their advocacy for a simpl(istic) solution to tax fizzy drinks. That and reference to conferences in fancy locales abroad.

    I wonder whether it might be possible for these academics and WO to get together on a problem that you both recognize as a huge risk for society to see if you can come up with solutions that appeal? Swinburn is a clever chap so if there were any chance of ending this whole distraction with kudos and demonstration of statsemanship all around, I don’t think he’d go all ego on you. He might ask WO to lose the “trougher’ label, though, except when applied to the willfully obese.

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