Skip to comments.UK: End fertility treatment on the NHS, say doctors [Do you think the NHS should pay for...]
Posted on 03/31/2007 12:48:24 AM PDT by bruinbirdman
Three quarters of British doctors say they do not believe that couples should be able to get free fertility treatment on the NHS, according to research published today.
A survey of more than 1,000 GPs and hospital doctors showed that 70 per cent said that the NHS should not pay for every type of operation but there was no consensus on what the NHS should fund.
When asked if patients should pay for treating accidents or illnesses caused by lifestyle choice, 38 per cent were unsure, 33 per cent said the NHS should pay and 28 per cent said patients should pay.
The online survey by Doctors.net.uk for The Daily Telegraph, shows that doctors continue to support the health service, but are increasingly concerned about how it can be afforded.
There was support for asking patients to pay for all or part of their treatment as a means of deterring time-wasters, with 70 per cent agreeing this would be an effective measure.
But when the doctors were asked if they thought paying for treatment would reduce the number of diseases or accidents caused by drinking, 42 per cent thought that it would while, 45 per cent thought that it would not.
Eighty per cent did not believe that the NHS should pay for vasectomy reversal and 84 per cent said the NHS should not pay for gender reassignment surgery.
About a third thought that the NHS should not pay for elective caesarean operations.
But other operations which some doctors argue should not be done on the NHS or have unproven merit - varicose veins, grommet insertion, hernia repair and tonsil and adenoid removal met with more approval. Between 70 and 80 per cent thought these operations should be free.
With some cancer treatments costing thousands of pounds a year and the NHS drugs bill rising, the doctors were asked if the NHS should pay for all drugs that had been approved by licensing authorities.
They were spilt, with 55 per cent saying it should and 45 per cent saying it should not. Forty-six per cent thought that the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) which rules on drugs for the NHS, got its decisions wrong. Only 28 per cent though that Nice got it right and 27 per cent did not know.
Dr Jonathan Fielden, the chairman of the NHS consultants' committee, said the time was right for a debate on how the health service should be funded.
"There would probably be agreement on providing core services and agreement on not providing services such as cosmetic surgery or fertility treatment, but there would be grey areas. I believe these would need to be decided democratically at a local level, but this would have the effect of increasing the post code lottery," he said.
Commenting on the 76 per cent of doctors who were against the NHS funding fertility treatments Dr Allan Pacey, the secretary of the British Fertility Society, said: "This a surprising finding. A survey of 70,000 hospital doctors last June found that around 60 per cent believed the NHS should support assisted conception.
"Another poll in November found that a majority of the public thought the NHS funding guidelines were about right, with this number rising if the woman was under 40. Therefore the respondents in the current survey seem to be out of step with what the public thinks.
"It is worth remembering that 1 in 7 couples experience infertility and, after pregnancy itself, it is the commonest reason for women aged 20-45 to see their GP."
Dr Tim Ringrose, the director of professional relations at Doctors.net.uk, said the large number of respondents "illustrated that the profession has widely differing opinions about how far the NHS can go to provide "cradle to the grave" care.
"The vast majority of doctors still believe that the NHS should fund the majority of care for surgical procedures, but only a minority think that fertility treatment, gender reassignment and illnesses related to lifestyle should be fully funded by the public purse."
Oregon does indeed have a list. Massachusetts is currently developing their own list also for "RomneyCare" which should be released by the end of May the latest. Mass. has released a summary of benefits for RomneyCare. I have worked on producing these documents for about a dozen health care plans myself, never have I seen abortion be listed as one of the first five benefits provided. It's usually listed in the 2nd to last section. Well, abortion is listed in the first section, as the fifth item in RomneyCare plans. That speaks volumes in and of itself.
The utilitarian pencil pushers in the UK NHS should extend this one step further, and eliminate abortion funding, and build a intra NHS adoption system to connect abortion seekers and fertility treatment seekers.
Interesting article, thanks for posting.
List all of the privileges that are considered rights in the UK, and try to reconcile that with the state withholding the privilege/right to bear a child.
Mass summary of benefits: http://www.mass.gov/Qhic/docs/cc_benefits1220_pt234.pdf
"I have worked on producing these documents for about a dozen health care plans "
Evidently, the plan is fluid and, therefore, should not be called "Romney Care". He hasn't been governor for a while.
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