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Obesity treatment 'hugely detrimental to NHS resources'

Published on 12/08/2009
Obese patients could soon be charged for treatment on the NHS as hospitals struggle to fund a marked rise in stomach stapling operations, it has been suggested.

According to the latest figures released by the National Obesity Forum (NOF), the number of these procedures and gastric bypasses performed by the NHS has risen by 52 per cent over the past year.

The organisation reported that women with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above account for the largest proportion of cases.

Notably, with bariatric surgery costing up to £12,000 a time, the campaigning group has warned that treating obesity could soon cripple the NHS' finances, with the severely overweight likely to be encouraged to look elsewhere for operations.

"These figures are going to keep on rising because there are many more people out there eligible for bariatric surgery," explained the NOF's Tam Fry to the London Evening Standard.

"This could be hugely detrimental to the NHS. When obese people have this surgery they are tying up an operating theatre and surgeons and anaesthetists which may be needed by other patients."

Earlier this year, the NOF reported an 11 per cent and a 12 per cent rise in oesity among boys and girls respectively since 1995.
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2009

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