Patients are denied operations to cut costs, surgeons say

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 31 March 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c1820
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. 1London

    Surgeons in England have decried “stealth cuts” that restrict access to a number of operations so as to save money.

    ENT-UK, the specialty association for ear, nose, and throat surgeons, says that it has received reports from members that primary care trusts across the country have drawn up and distributed lists of hospital services that will no longer be funded, regardless of clinical opinion. It says that this has been done without public consultation or debate and without discussion with the relevant hospital specialists.

    The association says that operations at risk include gallstone removal, tonsillectomy, operations for chronic glue ear, inguinal hernia operations, and orthopaedic procedures such as operations for back pain. ENT-UK says there is clear evidence and established guidance from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence on who benefits from …

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