Sunday, 12 December 2010

Can We Have Our NI Contributions Back Yet?

It's been coming for a while, but NHS West Kent have become the first health authority to actively pursue a comprehensive policy of restricting treatment based on social criteria.

From this month, patients who smoke and need planned surgery will have to complete a NHS Stop Smoking course before their operation.

Patients who are clinically obese or with a BMI (body mass index) of more than 30 will also have their surgery delayed and will have to carry out a weight loss programme.
One presumes that should the patient refuse, the delay becomes a permanent one.

One thing it fails to mention, though, is a refund of national insurance payments to reflect the lesser quality service they will receive from now on. In fact, if treatment is withdrawn altogether they should be entitled to the return of every damned penny they have paid in during their lifetime.

It's not called 'universal' healthcare for nothing. If the end product isn't universal, the state have no right to demand money with menaces from everyone - irrespective of lifestyle choices - to pay for it.

UPDATE: WfW found this on the West Kent PCT website:

"We are committed to delivering equality of opportunity for all service users, carers, staff and wider communities."
I don't know about you but, in light of their latest policy, that looks very much like a lie to me.


24 comments:

Mr A said...

Well said. I read somewhere that all our income tax goes to the NHS, with welfare, defence, education and the rest coming out of the myriad other taxes we are forced to pay by threat of force. I don't know if this is true, but as a higher-rate tax payer (and smoker) I am happy to fuck the NHS off and let them indulge in their eugenicist agenda... if I get to keep my income tax so I can go private.

(And let's not even get on to the tobacco duty I've paid over the years which pays for the NHS four times over)....

The time for violence is quickly coming.

Witterings From Witney said...

Nice spot DP - have linked and commented further.

Witterings From Witney said...

Ta for link DP - greatly appreciated as always!

Snowolf said...

Cheers Dick. As a West Kent resident, I may have a comment or two to make on this.

Large Melot Please said...

In the words of Bruce Forsyth, 'let's have a look at the old scoreboard Anthea.

Revenue from all taxation 2008-9 =
£439,107, million

Revenue from income tax £147,856 million

NI £96,882 million

The cost of the NHS 2008-9 £102,000 million.

Pick the bones out of that.

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/tax_receipts/table1-2.pdf

Caratacus said...

Just when you think that they have stooped as low as possible, the gauleiters in charge manage to wriggle even lower. Bastards.

I gave up smoking about six months ago - I've got a mind to start again just to have an argument with the stasi sons of bitches...

Dick Puddlecote said...

Caratacus: And an argument it would certainly turn out to be should such policies gain momentum.

I'd be looking to find a solicitor to take on a class action. There is no contract clause which dictated get-outs for the NHS when I started paying NI in 1986. In fact, there is no contract whatsoever.

They treat or they give the money back. At the very least, I should be able to contract out and use the money for private health insurance instead.

Funnily enough, actuaries in private health have assessed profit risk from 'unhealthy' people accurately, and are well aware that such will cost them less in the long run, not more.

Anonymous said...

A refund with an inflation adjustment upward added to original contributions plus interest a prevailing market rates for having it lent to them would be appropriate if going into the class action lawsuit stage. Taking inflation and interest into account the amount of refund should be much higher.

Anonymous said...

Since 1981, it has been accepted that male homosexuals engaging in unprotected sex are exposing themselves to a very high risk of fatal consequences from HIV/AIDS.
Yet the NHS has never suggested withholding immensely expensive treatment from those suffering as a result.
This is exactly the same circumstances as faced by smokers (undertaking an activity with a known risk-profile), except that the smokers have at least pre-paid for their treatment in a lifetime of Excise Duty.
Should I ever be refused treatment on the basis of my smoking, I'll see the hypocritical health fascists in court.

manwiddicombe said...

Great find DP.

As a side note before I underwent surgery when I broke my ankle about 5 years ago I was advised to quit smoking for 2 months post-op to allow the blood vessels time to heal properly. I can understand advice like that being given (I actually cut down for 8 weeks but didn't stop) but not the action Kent PCT has taken.

Mr A said...

True - there are times when such action would need to be taken. Obese people (for example, and I mean real obese people not "Health Nazi slightly over the BMI line" people) may well need to lose weight for the surgical tools to actually be able to reach where they're going. And I think not smoking does speed up healing, although it's not a deal-breaker.

However, what they are really talking about here is denying service to 28% (according to the Eurostat figures - may be more considering a third of all fags smoked in this country are illegally imported) of the population. It's not only unethical, it's downright fraudulent.

Give us back our money, you lying scum or do your damn job! Given the death rate in NHS hospitals, I'd prefer the former to be honest.

Smoking Hot said...

FFS! BMI is guesswork not scientific fact. There's so many variations it's a joke.

Anonymous said...

And if they're using clincial grounds as the reason, patients sign a disclaimer before surgery which acknowledges and accepts risks.

Jay

Anonymous said...

"One presumes that should the patient refuse, the delay becomes a permanent one."

Might help if you read the report fully:

"Chief executive Ms Dinwoodie said: no one with a 'compelling clinical need' for treatment this year would miss out."

This isn't 'social criteria' - smokers and obese people are more likely to have complications in surgery, more likely to need follow-up work and more likely to die under the knife, so the NHS is doing them a favour by giving them an incentive to sort themselves out. I wish people would take some responsibility over their health and not expect the NHS to bail them out of their self-made or self-exacerbated problems.

Anonymous said...

@manwiddicombe

"As a side note before I underwent surgery when I broke my ankle about 5 years ago I was advised to quit smoking for 2 months post-op to allow the blood vessels time to heal properly. I can understand advice like that being given (I actually cut down for 8 weeks but didn't stop) but not the action Kent PCT has taken."

This is exactly what NHS West Kent (and NHS Surrey and others BTW) is proposing.

Found A Voice said...

Anonymous @09:59 said :

"I wish people would take some responsibility over their health and not expect the NHS to bail them out of their self-made or self-exacerbated problems."

I would happily. Except that under coercion and the threat of gaol, I am forced to pay for the NHS. Let me keep my NI contributions and I'll take responsibility for finding a provider to suit whichever way I wish to live my life.

So until your ilk stop forcing us to use a system that we don't wish to, you can stop trying to moralise over the rest of us.

For the record, I'm a non-smoker and not overweight. You may wish to consider what aspects of YOUR lifestyle I or other may not wish to pay for...

AntiCitizenOne said...

I look forward to there being a Gay tax, and no treatment for AIDS patients until they stop anal intercourse and thus lower the spread of drug resistant AIDS.

Witterings From Witney said...

@ Anonymous (09:59) Echoing Found a Voice;

"smokers and obese people are more likely to have complications in surgery, more likely to need follow-up work and more likely to die under the knife"

And the research for all the above is...? With all respect it is those like you that repeat what appear to be unproven fact that allow bureaucrats to continue the brainwashing that is taking place.

Angry Exile said...

Caratacus, you could do what I do sometimes. Tell 'em you're still a smoker just for the fun of it. The Righteous probably still count you as one anyway, partly because six months isn't long enough for them and partly because you're still an apologist for those still on the evil fags. Actually the next time I'm asked I might claim that I don't know if I still smoke just to see what the reaction is. If they ask how I can possibly not know I'll suggest that perhaps all the whisky is giving me blackouts :-D

Anonymous said...

"I wish people would take some responsibility over their health..." (Anon)

I consider personal responsibility taken if I, as a smoker, choose to accept the risks of surgery. I consider it a nerve if someone else decides for me and downright insulting when 'for my own good' masks a cost-cutting agenda with smokers (and the obese) as acceptable Aunt Sallies.

Jay

Jay

Neal Asher said...

"I wish people would take some responsibility over their health and not expect the NHS to bail them out of their self-made or self-exacerbated problems."

Hey, we're paying for it. Smokers cost the NHS about 3 billion (if you ignore the ASH massaged figures) but the revenue take is 11billion now. Then there's this:

"It is assumed that if large numbers of smokers give up, the NHS will make substantial savings.

This is not necessarily the case. Dutch researchers have shown smokers may actually save society money because they do not live so long. The study, conducted by the Erasmus University Department of Public Health in Rotterdam, compared the health care costs of smokers to those of people of more advanced years.

They concluded that in the long run, if many people stopped using tobacco products, costs would actually rise as a healthier population eventually moved into nursing homes and into the relatively expensive diseases of old age.

They calculated the average lifetime costs of a smoking man to be $72,700 - much less than $83,400 for the non-smoking man."

You know, if I wanted to pay someone to preach at me I would have joined a church. Fucksake.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Neal: It's not just the one Dutch study. In fact, it's an uncontested truth amongst health officials. Julian LeGrand was a health adviser in Blair's government and is a hideous health hysteric (he advocated licences for smokers at one point), but even he knows that the costs regularly bandied about are total nonsense.

"It is true that, on the whole, healthy people cost the National Health Service, and indeed the pensions sector, rather more than unhealthy people."

It seems our Anon (aren't they always?) has some way to go before escaping the clutches of gullibility.

Neal Asher said...

Same technique is used perpetually:

Smoking cost the NHS X-amount, but we neglect to mention how much it DOESN'T cost.

Global warming kills X-number, but we negelect to mention how many many more people DON'T die in the winter.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Or indeed, Neal, how more dangerous the cold is than the warm.

Winter kills, so a rise in temperatures would save lives in the UK.