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NHS Gives Death Sentence to Kidney Cancer Patients

Politics / NHS Aug 07, 2008 - 02:45 AM GMT

By: N_Walayat

Politics Patients that have spent there whole lives working and contributing towards NHS budgets so that others can benefit from free healthcare are now being hit in their late life illness with a not so NICE death sentence as the NHS focuses resources towards those with self inflicted illness such as alcohol, tobacco and drugs abuse.


The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has rejected NHS payment for four drugs that cost approx £30k per year as too expensive for the NHS and hence kidney cancer patients that it would prolong the life of for several years have been given a death sentence unless they are prepared to move to Scotland that does delivery a far more competent health care service.

A fairer system would see those that have illnesses as a consequence of substance abuse have an added incentive to administer some self discipline in substance use by contributing towards their healthcare costs perhaps at the rate of 20% of total costs incurred, which given the amount the NHS wastes on treating avoidable substance abuse would more than cover the amount that NICE now aims to save from those that it is delivering a death sentence to.

NICE clearly is focusing on punishing those that are the least vocal and politically damaging group of patients, as any cuts in service to substance abusers would lead to an outcry amongst the varied campaigners in favour of such treatments and the Police that have to deal with the aftermath of substance abuse on our streets on a day to day basis. For the number of instances where the Police have had to arrest an out of control kidney cancer patient on a Saturday night are probably close to zero.

Average Annual Costs of Treatments

Cancer treatment for smokers £25,000 (Lung transplant £50,000)

Cirrhosis of Liver treatment for alcoholics£25,000 (Liver transplant £60,000)

Kidney Cancer treatment £30,000

Kidney Dialysis £31,000 (Transplant £30,000)

Source includes UKtransplant.org

The Governments top cancer expert has warned that GP's are failing to diagnose cancer symptoms in an interview with the Observer.

"Patients are dying of cancer because GP's are failing to identify their symptoms, the government's top cancer expert has warned. Professor Mike Richards said botched diagnoses were now 'a significant concern'. 'Ultimately it can mean that the cancer has progressed to a stage where it can't be cured,' he said. Failed diagnoses also meant that, when cancers were eventually spotted, particularly aggressive treatments, such as chemotherapy or surgery, had to be used. 'That could be a mastectomy rather than perhaps a breast conserving operation, ' http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/....

The research group "Breakthrough Breast Cancer" reported that as many as a third of GP's are failing to refer patients with suspected breast cancer as urgent cases. Which is one of the core reasons why Britain lags behind most of Europe in terms of cancer deaths. Even behind many poorer eastern european countries that spend less than 1/3rd the amount the UK spends on the National health Service.GP's failure to properly understand the procedures for urgent referral of suspected breast cancer cases costs thousands of lives every year.

The other group discriminated against are those living within deprived wards. The primary reason for this is that poor performing GP's tend to cluster together within these surgeries and hence provide substandard healthcare to those that are the least able to complain against poor healthcare services. This has lead to a near third world level of life expectancy amongst many deprived wards of as much as 17 years less. This was highlighted by the Liberal Democrats Leader Nick Clegg who voiced the shocking difference in life expectancy within his own city of Sheffield between affluent wards such as Fullwood and deprived wards such as Darnall.

If the NHS concentrated far more on prevention of avoidable illnesses then there would be deep savings in the annual health budget. This is another sign that the NHS is not working, right from GP surgeries that tend to delay competent diagnoses as patients are increasingly subjected to repetitive near worthless 2 minute shoulder shrug diagnoses right into hospitals with booking systems that on many occasions fail to work, and drug treatment procedures where those drugs that actually do prolong or save lives are only made available on the NHS to those that are the most vocal, such as the professional classes that are both able to identify effective drug treatment programme's and also able to argue with the NHS trusts for such treatments to be made available to them on the NHS, whilst everyone else receives substandard near worse than third world health care.

The public is repeatedly asked to donate to constant appeals for cash towards cancer research. What is the point of all this research if the English and Welsh public is denied the outcome of this research ? Who is it meant to benefit if not NHS patients ?

By Nadeem Walayat
http://www.marketoracle.co.uk

Copyright © 2005-08 Marketoracle.co.uk (Market Oracle Ltd). All rights reserved.

Nadeem Walayat has over 20 years experience of trading, analysing and forecasting the financial markets, including one of few who both anticipated and Beat the 1987 Crash. Nadeem is the Editor of The Market Oracle, a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication. We present in-depth analysis from over 150 experienced analysts on a range of views of the probable direction of the financial markets. Thus enabling our readers to arrive at an informed opinion on future market direction. http://www.marketoracle.co.uk

Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any trading losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors before engaging in any trading activities.

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