Skip to comments.'NHS should not treat those with unhealthy lifestyles' say Tories
Posted on 09/04/2007 3:07:07 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
Patients who refuse to change their unhealthy lifestyles should not be treated by the NHS, the Conservatives said today.
In a bid to ease spiralling levels of obesity and other health concerns, a Tory panel said certain treatments should be denied to patients who refuse to co-operate with health professionals and live healthier lifestyles.
And those who do manage to improve their general health by losing weight and quitting smoking, for example, would receive "Health Miles" cards.
Points earned could then be used to pay for health-related products such as gym membership and fresh vegetables.
The aim is a shift in the NHS towards preventing disease and ill-health rather than having to treat it.
The proposal was one of a raft of measures suggested in a review of public services, ordered by David Cameron.
The 200-page study, entitled Restoring Pride in Our Public Services, was carried out by the Conservative public services improvement policy group's review co-chaired by former health secretary Stephen Dorrell and leading educationalist Baroness Perry.
"It is inconsistent with the concept of the responsible citizen to imagine that it is realistic for citizens, having paid their taxes, to expect that the state will underwrite the health implications of any lifestyle decision they choose to make," the report states.
Along with the health proposals were a raft of suggested changes in education and housing.
Smaller schools, it has been suggested, would improve overall results.
In cases where pupil numbers are falling large schools in the centre of London and other cities would be closed, rather than smaller schools in outlying areas. Inner city pupils could be transported to schools in the suburbs and even villages to ensure they remain open.
"Schools within schools" could be created to tackle poor discipline, particularly in large schools, national targets could be reduced and struggling pupils could be forced to repeat their final year at primary school.
Former chief inspector of schools Lady Perry said: "Every time we have a cutting back of numbers in schools, the knee-jerk reaction is to close all the little village schools or suburban schools and bus all the pupils into great big city schools.
"Schools are getting bigger and bigger. All the evidence is that discipline, achievement and standards are better in small schools than they are in big ones. So why don't we instead close the great big city school if numbers start to fall and bus the children out to the villages?
"It does not cost any more. It would be so much more productive for the children from the middle of the city to be taken out to the suburbs."
She branded the trend towards large schools a "disaster" - as Education Secretary Ed Balls hailed moves to create more mergers between schools.
He said: "Rather than set schools against schools, we need to increase collaboration."
The Tories' renewed focus on schools came on the same day shock official figures revealed an 83% in school spending only brings a 1% boost in productivity.
A report from the Office for National Statistics showed state schools were more productive during 1996-99, a period when spending was tight.
Where housing is concerned council tenants who are well-behaved could be given as much as £50,000 to help them buy their first home.
The move to rescue poor families from 'dead-end ghettos' in deprived inner cities is a key part of a Tory review of public services.
Families with a five-year record of good behaviour would be given a 10 per cent stake in their property in a significant extension of Margaret Thatcher's hugely popular right-to-buy scheme.
Under the 1980 Housing Act, families received a discount of up to 50 per cent on the market value of their house depending on how long they had lived there.
By 1995, 2.1 million families had taken advantage of the scheme to buy their home.
The payment would be held as an equity bond and could be used only to buy a home.
Council houses are typically worth between £100,000 and £200,000 on the private market - but some tenants in Westminster and Kensington and Chelsea could be sitting on properties worth as much as £500,000.
The report says a Conservative Government has a duty to transform deprived inner cities into neighbourhoods with a 'sense of local pride and ownership'.
But handing money to council tenants would be highly controversial as ordinary council taxpayers would foot the bill.
The move could also provoke resentment from those who do not qualify for social housing - and will not be able to take advantage of the windfall.
But Tory officials said the financial costs would be outweighed by the long-term social benefits of good behaviour by tenants.
The latest proposal is aimed at boosting individuals' pride in their home by letting them own a share of it.
Other health measures outlined include incentives to encourage GPs to "re-engage" in responsibility for the out-of-hours care provided to their patients, without imposing "undesirable working patterns" on doctors.
Tory leader David Cameron will examine the proposals before deciding which ones to make policy.
Crucially on health, the group concluded that far more focus must be placed by the NHS on public health issues.
"We have considered ideas such as an 'NHS Health Miles Card' to promote the concept of wellbeing," says the report.
"Although much work would be required for development, we think that the creation of a small individual benefit scheme would change the language of health from illness to wellbeing."
The group also warns that public support for the NHS is under threat because of the "failure" to engage citizens in the drive to improve the service and to boost productivity despite the billions being poured into it.
Then do the unhealthy get a tax rebate for all they paid in taxes that went to the NHS?
After all, why should the unhealthy subsidize the healthy?
And that is socialized medicine in a bucket!
When the government is pretty much the sole provider...they’re, also, pretty much the sole decider.
oh my gosh — something may hit the fan. What kinds of unhealthy lifestyles are they talking about?
The politically correct crowd will go ballistic about this if they pick on certain types of people such as homosexual men.
Are those men who have anal sex refused treatment too?
But the only problem, with this thinking is obvious, the problems just get worse and ultimately cost more. Prevention is worth an ounce of cure and in socialized medicine, prevention gets bogged down in bureaucracy.
does this include former senator craigs foot tapping habit?
If big government wants to continue to do health care, then big government should provide exercise areas/facilities on every residential block. ...and many other things.
Big government doesn’t work except temporarily for the purpose of winning wars. Taxes should be mainly for defense—not for social engineering causes.
And this is one of many reasons why the state has no damned business being involved in it.
By the way, isn't the socialized medicine crowd always talking about everyone having the "right to healthcare"? I guess that "right" just doesn't apply to everyone after all.
and those that vote republican,....and those that have purchased a firearm in the last 10 years......and those who drink red wine, or white, or beer, or other forms of consumable alcohol. Or those that eat meat, or live in certain neiborhoods, or have a home with more than 1000 sq ft of livalbe space....
The aim is a shift in the NHS towards preventing disease and ill-health rather than having to treat it.Translation: NHS is shifting from treatment to preaching. If you get sick, don't come to us for medicine or surgery... but we will tell you where you went wrong.
(And by the way, keep those tax dollars coming our way folks. We're doing one hell of a good job!)
Drinking pints is unhealthy too. Let’s see how this goes over in a pub society.
Smoking fags is also unhealthy, in more ways than one. Cigarettes may just kill you.
“What kinds of unhealthy lifestyles are they talking about?”
Quite so...who decides what is unhealthy? Is rock-climbing unhealthy? Surely those who indulge in extreme sports have proportionally higher injury rates.
What about driving a car?
The point is that you do not withold treatment based on value judgements, this is against the basic tenet of medicine, however frustrating it may be.
The whys and wherefores of having a socialised health service is a completly different discussion. The point is that if you have a NHS then the same level of care must be available to all.
How many "Health Miles" is it worth not to hang around bath houses and emulate a Night Depository?
"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus
Coming soon - what hobbies you can have, when to sleep, who can have kids and mandatory abortions for ‘difficult’ children that will be too expensive.
Eventually, taxes will be almost 100% and the government will control how your money is spent. Socialized medicine, housing, schools, transportation, vacations, food, etc. Basically the same thing as communism without the name.
I escaped grinding communism and thought it was destroyed. Much to my anger, it is very much alive in the west. Every year I feel more like I am back in the USSR with every new law and encroachment on freedom.
First they came after gun owners
I remained silent
I wasn't a gun owner
Then they came after smokers
I did not speak out
I’m not a smoker
Then when they came for me,
There was no one left to speak out...
This is the next logical progression of the tyranny of the Nanny State after Democrat John Edwards’ plan to require all US citizens to have an annual checkup. It must be understood that “require” in the context of government means a plan that includes sending armed agents who are charged with either seeing the order complied with or the citizen may die trying to resist.
To be sure, this Road to the Secular Utopia is paved with good intentions, but we have had several decades of predicates that start off with laws requiring this or that (such as seat belts and motorcycle helmets), justified in large measure because the State ends up paying the medical bills of the injured who are not able to pay them. We have recently been further insulted by bans on smoking on private property and even in private automobiles based on the same liberty-destroying reasoning.
The only way to slay this monstrosity is for people to insist on paying their own medical expenses and insurance premiums.
I think that will be the point of socialized medicine.
Eventually EVERYTHING is healthcare.
Remember when those socialist doctors wanted gun control to be a “health care” issue?
Its the Joseph Koctau Joy Joy Be Well version of life behavior enforcement.
Oh for the love of pete!
Tax smokers to death then deny them health care, thats sounds fair.