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To wonder if perhaps the answer is just to stop paying?

(251 Posts)
Resurgam2016 Thu 09-Feb-17 09:34:09

Listening to the radio the other day and there was a South African lady who was having kidney dialysis in the UK because she couldn't afford it in her home country. Apparently in SA they don't fund this treatment for the over 65's. There just isn't the money. She was a medical tourist but that is another issue entirely.

So what if we contemplated something similar to help 'save' the NHS? No treatment for life limiting conditions over, say 70 years. No treatment for conditions that are not life saving (so fertility treatment or breast rebuilding for example). Making people (or their relatives) pay for all but the medical care they receive (so food etc.). It's a horrible thought but maybe the answer?

FYI I have a chronic illness so might well be 'caught' under these new rules. I'm just wondering if it is 'acceptable' in SA why we don't debate it here.

TinklyLittleLaugh Thu 09-Feb-17 09:38:29

I think the answer is to pay more tax. Many countries spend more on healthcare than the UK.

wowfudge Thu 09-Feb-17 09:41:29

I can't see no treatment for the over 70s being a prudent decision by anyone given the ageing population. I agree with the pp: we need to pay more taxes to fund the NHS.

Penfold007 Thu 09-Feb-17 09:42:09

So as soon as a person retires and is no longer paying NI (probably still paying tax) they are no longer eligible for NHS treatment. Let me just explain that to my 80 year old parents and MIL.

NickyEds Thu 09-Feb-17 09:43:45

Errr no, that would be horrific. More tax, increase funding.

gleam Thu 09-Feb-17 09:44:39

How would it 'save' the NHS? It would take it away from some of its most vulnerable users.

How about we don't give care to children born prematurely? That's just as stupid.

Trifleorbust Thu 09-Feb-17 09:45:40

That would be grim.

Ginmakesitallok Thu 09-Feb-17 09:46:42

So would we just leave them to die? Are they allowed pain relief?

gleam Thu 09-Feb-17 09:46:59

And I wonder if you're either a journo or someone in politics, testing the waters, op?

Resurgam2016 Thu 09-Feb-17 09:48:23

@gleam so what if they said no treatment for premature babies from 28 weeks say?

I guess my question was really about how arbitrary cut offs are agreed and what is acceptable and what is unacceptable.

People always say pay more tax but generally they don't want to do that and don't seem to vote for parties who suggest it.

PleasantPhesant Thu 09-Feb-17 09:49:56

The tax we all pay needs to be better spent.

gandalf456 Thu 09-Feb-17 09:51:23

70 is not old at all by today's standards. We have a couple at our work still working. Most 70 somethings are quite sprightly but with the normal old age ailments. My mother is 74. I can't imagine what I'd say to a doctor who said that she couldn't have dialysis because she was 4 yrs too old.

SaucyJack Thu 09-Feb-17 09:51:45

Over-65 is a bit harsh, but I think at some point there does need to be a conversation about using medical advances to prolong life for the sheer sake.

The human body has a finite lifespan. I don't believe that people are necessarily living longer- rather that death is being dragged out in many cases.

It's not a financial issue tho- more a quality of life one.

kitkatchunkymonkey Thu 09-Feb-17 09:51:58

Not acceptable.

Someone of 70 years old could potentially have another 20-30 years life ahead of them, people are living much longer than they used to.

Imagine that, "sorry, you've worked and paid tax all your life and now you need help we consider you too old, bye!" hmm

Resurgam2016 Thu 09-Feb-17 09:52:33

OK @pleasantpheasant so tax aside on the assumption that the size of the NHS money pot will not change significantly what should we consider?

Birdsgottaf1y Thu 09-Feb-17 09:55:44

""I think the answer is to pay more tax. Many countries spend more on healthcare than the UK.""

I haven't seen/ heard an independent analysis that has come to the conclusion that the UK can't afford to run the NHS. Could you link if you have.

I'm not talking about the refusal to fund it, like many services, by this present Government.

If people have reports that have found, after researching spending that we have to change the Ethos of the NHS, as said, please link them.

When Government Cuts go as deep as they have, there is a ripple and that's what's happening, with the NHS and in the case of children, SS, is picking up. We'll also see that we've had to spend more across the criminal justice system.

I liked through the 80's, were a Tory Government had everyone convinced that we could no longer afford to run the country.

My Father left SA, believe me, you don't want to use that Continent as a blue print for policies.

WhaddaPalaver Thu 09-Feb-17 09:56:17

That would indeed be grim.

Death panels anyone? hmm

HolesinTheSoles Thu 09-Feb-17 09:58:34

If only people that are young employed or rich can get treatment then that would have already killed the NHS.

Twopeapods Thu 09-Feb-17 09:58:48

Agreed with pp. the money paid in needs better spent. 80 million on paracetamol was it last year?

Hereward1332 Thu 09-Feb-17 09:59:37

It would make more sense to stop funding it for 16 - 65, as these people can pay for treatment themselves from their earnings.

Either way it's a ridiculous and terrible idea.

Spikeyball Thu 09-Feb-17 09:59:46

A relative had life saving treatment in her early 70's. She is now nearly 90 and living completely independently with a great quality of life. Where else would we go with this. Do we decide that some people with disabilities are not worth treating.

SquedgieBeckenheim Thu 09-Feb-17 10:00:13

Absolutely not. Healthcare should always be provided on the basis of need, not age. The answer is to increase funding and reduce wastage.

user892 Thu 09-Feb-17 10:00:45

Don't worry. We'll soon have an extra £350 million a week for our NHS! wink

LastnightaDJ Thu 09-Feb-17 10:02:08

I'd rather stop or limit/means test the treatment of conditions caused by:
Obesity
Sport/dangerous hobbies
Smoking
Drinking
Heath tourism

than deny treatment based on age. It's funny how people cry "nanny state" when they are complaining about public health education campaigns, taxation/regulation of problematic behaviour but are conveniently quite happy to forget that expecting free treatment for the consequences of their behaviour is arguably the very essence of the nanny state!

VintagePerfumista Thu 09-Feb-17 10:04:14

Isn't that called euthanasia?

Increase funding, stop wastage, stop prescribing things like paracetomol, a policy of education (especially among the demographic of sites like this) to stop them running to the hospital with every little sniffle and stop the wastage in staffing as well. Not obviously, talking about doctors having to work 456 hours a week, but the money spent training people who then never take up posts, pull sickies etc.

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