Monday, 26 November 2012

Tory MP says it is "indefensible" & daft" for Diabetics to be entitled to "free" treatment.


The Tory MP for Bracknell is a member the Tory Free Enterprise Group. This morning, this Tory MP gave a speech to the Institute for Economic Affairs. If you wish to view IEA's reportage of that event then please see this link (here). It also covered in the Telegraph (here) and the Daily Mail (here). As you can see from his tweet above, he has positive feelings about the Telegraph's reporting of what he said so it might be best to start there. 

I want to draw your attention to some of the things he had to say, but I won't analyse them as I want you to make your own mind up for yourself. 



"The current situation, when diabetics and people with an under-active thyroid are entitled to all drugs to be free is just indefensible, plainly daft."

40 seconds into the video below,  The Tory MP said patients (Diabetes) could be asked to "Pay for drugs [treatment] at cost" and "attach a consequence to lifestyle choice". A sufferer of Diabetes had this to say on the suggestion that Diabetes was a lifestyle choice:

I should point out that Labour's policy is the polar opposite. Andy Burnham has vowed to place more pressure on the fast food companies to reduce salt, sugar and fat in their products. This is a much more ethical solution to the problem than blaming individuals. Diabetes UK is the leading UK charity that campaigns on behalf of people who have, or are at risk of, Diabetes. It had these words to say about the Tory MP's proposals:

That was not all the Tory MP had to say. He continued:

“We have got to be bold here, we have got to be decided that the National Health Service in its current form is not sustainable. It probably can limp on for the rest of this decade but the reality is the pressures coming from the baby boomer generation and their expectations of health care, their perceptions of pain and suffering is profoundly different to their stoic parents who survived the war.”

People reading the above will be worried that a medical doctor and Tory MP is recommending such dramatic changes to what is available on the NHS so soon after the recent upheaval caused by the Tory NHS Bill. The Daily Mail also report that the Tory MP said that charging people for the cost of their prescriptions would encourage them to take more responsibility for their own health.

33 comments:

anarchic teapot said...

Can you tell the moronic Tory that levothyrox treatment costs less per month thatn a packet of sweeties? And that without it, otherwise healthy and productive people will die?

bobchewie said...

How to avoid getting ill..,clever that

bobchewie said...

So where are all these right wing free market so called doctors coming from? Thers robert leverfy who used to run addiction clinics he is connected to anti nhs nurses for reform he was in press saying its tine to scrap benefits, maybe in his twisted world ppl become addicted to them. I see the IEA was trying to re define workfare, its workfare we

Ron Graves said...

As someone who has had life-threatening illness since age 2, I've never understood why a very few conditions qualify the sufferers for free prescriptions, but most don't.

Who decides? On what basis?

And why, as this GP/MP rightly points out, does getting free drugs to treat the actual condition translate into free drugs for everything?

It's a fair question, and being a Tory doesn't automatically make him wrong.

Rebellionkid said...

His comments don't seem to be as simple as "diabetic should not be entitled to free treatment". Clearly he has an over-generalised view of diabetes, but there is a point here that is valid.

I read his comments as "because of limited budget the NHS will have to provide less service in future. As such we will have to cut back on the most expensive treatments. As part of this we will have to place limits on how much we spend on diabetics."

Jennie Kermode said...

I understand he has said the same about people with underactive thyroid glands. I'd love to have him explain to me, as a doctor, how my partner contracting the leukaemia that destroyed his thyroid was a lifestyle choice.

Spoonydoc said...

There are two points to address here.
The first is that a few "priviliged" conditions based on an arbritray list drawn up years ago are entitled to free prescriptions not only for the drug required for that condition but for all other prescriptions too.

I myself qualify as I have epilepsy. However I have always thought it was a rather strange system. I could understand my getting my anti convulsant drugs for free at a pinch but why all the rest? And why is my epilepsy worthy of special treatment but heart disease, MS or any number of other illnesses aren't?

I would readily support stopping this and instead advertising more widely the prepayment certificate for those such as myself who have to take a lot of medication.

There is another nastier aspect to this story though. And that is the implication that somehow people are "choosing" to get ill just to get free prescriptions. Most people are completely unaware of the free prescription criteria. And to label diabetes or any other illness as some sort of "lifestyle choice" is heading down a very cruel and dangerous slope indeed.

Hazel Lewry said...

Hmm.. lifestyle choices.... I don't recall going in to the ThyroidsRUs shop and choosing the under-active one.

Maddy said...

charging full whack for prescriptions will surely end with some people not taking their medication, getting sicker and therefore costing more for treatment inthe long run. never mind the severe lack of ethics and morals

jaygow said...

I'd love to know how my hubby (who became insulin dependent aged 3) and my son (who became insulin dependent aged 11) made bad lifestyle choices that made them ill at these ages??? I certainly didn't force feed my son sugar!!! Stupid man, would be shouting for free insulin if he had to inject himself 5 times a day!!

Derek said...

I think you will find it does :-D

Derek said...

I think you will find it does :-D

Derek said...

That's OK then as long as you interpret his comments as you like, people can become ill and suffer! Have you any idea of the cost of caring for people with sight problems, or ulcers and lost limbs?
Short sighted and Tory go together. Like diabetes and necrosis.

Derek said...

Can somebody tell me what better receipt their could be for the wealth we have, than looking after our health? I ask because it sure isn't giving it to Tories and their corrupt friends.

Unknown said...

Is he related to Shipman by any chance? Strike these idiots off as they haveno interest whatsoever in the welfare of patients.

Angela Kennedy said...

Divide and rule - let's decide which of these people are burdens on the NHS and should not be allowed free treatment, shall we? http://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/f14.htm

Beebs said...

Nonesense, diabetes has been found to triggered by vaccines, in both adults and infants, pollution, medications such as antibiotics and other meds, various RF frequencies, contrast dye, and more.

As for hypothyroidism, same, antiobiotics, lariam/mefloquine and other meds, contast dye, fluoridated water, and well, the list is long.

In a nutshell, diseases are caused by toxicities, from environment/meds etc, iatrogenic as by anesthetics, and exposure to other chems. They are not side effects per say, meds damage and mutate genes, damage endothelial cells=inflammation=diseases.

So, compensation is in order rather than being told to pay for meds, (I take none).

Moving on, NHS doctors have been reluctant to offer diagnostic tests, other than blood routine tests. Its no wonder that high percentage of illnesses found out in late stages in UK, with poor record of remission or heal.

Big Pharma rules.

Derek said...

No allowing for the consequence to the patient or indeed the financial costs of this stupid comment. If he's a doctor I'm a Banana ! He ought to be struck off because if this is his opinion of how to practice medicine, he cannot be trusted to be following relevant guidelines can he ?

Andy Hemingway Landscape Photographer said...

Wouldn't it be cheaper and less stressfull to just cut back on Tories?

Hywel said...

I guess he doesn't realise that part of the social contract is to have social insurance.

E McElligott said...

Type 1 diabetes and underactive or non functioning thyroid disease are not in any way caused by lifestyle!!!

Richey said...

The simplest reason why we should pay for treatment of diabetics is because it's cheaper than paying for amputations, dialysis, cardiac problems, and disability benefits they will need later down the line.
If we want to save money rather than punish people for being ill then preventative medicine is the way to go.

SalfordScally said...

What an idiot. Type 1 diabetes has never been bought on by lifestyle choice & is a horrible disease to live with. How ignorant, he makes me so angry.
He may have a point about type 2 as it is preventable. But then smokers should pay for cancer treatment & the obsese for heart disease treatment if we go by that logic, and where does it end?
I have underactive thyroid, again, not brought on by lifestyle choices, but do agree I should only get that particular drug for free. But hypothyrism has fewer long term side effects compared to diabetes so multitudes of drugs / needles / kits are not needed.
Maybe those of us with diabetes or thyroid disorders should just not bother taking our drugs & cost the NHS thousands more with the complications instead!

redvelvetshoes said...

I'd like ANYBODY to be able to explain to me DEFINITAVELY and CONCLUSIVELY that hypothyroid is a "lifestyle" choice issue.
Or that type2 diabetes is ALLWAYS thus.
And then explain to me why its just as high in certain Asian populations despite the fact that they're thinner, and (according to the simple minded)"healthier"
I'd like somebody to try, as a doctor once did(despite conclusive CT scan evidence of extensive pneumonia)explain that I developed a life threateNing pulmonary embolism just cos I'm "overweight".
Even though my O2 sats never dropped below 100%, my pulse never went over 80bpm despite swinging pyrexia.
Why I didn't even realise I was ill untill I collapsed mid cycle ride.
How does somebody have at 46 the O2 reuptake of a 25 year old and compensate so well they don't realise they're dangerously ill?
When surely, just because they're "fat", they are -ergo- unfit, have a lousy "lifestyle", and "deserve" everything they get?
Including judgemental nonsense used to justify charging for healthcare.
Why not charge sportspersons for their injuries, given that those too, are the result of a "lifestyle" choice?

A Failed Journalist said...

"Take more responsibility for their health" Er, correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought taking life saving medications as prescribed and directed WAS taking responsibility for their health. Otherwise they'd probably end up being rushed to A&E on a regular basis due to being so ill and wasting NHS money and the doctor's time. Nobody chooses these conditions, and nobody chooses the conditions that can bring on these conditions as a secondary affect.

It's very worrying that such an educated man can make such erroneous sweeping judgements and comments, and actually believe them himself.

jo said...

Does he really know what he is talking about? People get an underactive thyroid for reasons other than `lifestyle`.

jo said...

Will they also refuse NHS treatment to anyone made seriously ill because they cannot afford to pay for their medication?

toffi tiger said...

If being diabetic is purely a lifestyle choice, why aren't ALL overweight people diabetic?

toffi tiger said...

If it is a solely lifestyle choice to be diabetic, why aren't all overweight people diabetic?

Lynne said...

He's a Doctor???!!! Well he should be struck off for having such a limited knowledge of diabetes.

bendybebb said...

he aught to look up the facts that the people he calls stoic after going through a war very often could not afford to see a doctor or pay for drugs and as a consequense died young. they also lost one child after another because there was no proper care or nutrition for expectant mothers. he should read the book "round about a pound a week" and see how people struggled to live in those times. the children who survived from that era were also the people who have paid a lifetime of NHS taxes and look at how we are treating them now.
he might as well go a step further and start killing people off. Oh! i forgot, we are already doing that via the LPW.
come on people it!s time to wake up before these dispicable people have their way.

Penny said...

So this "doctor" who by his obvious age, received a free education to become a dr and is now earning an enormous sum of money - well you sponger of society who has taken from us for long enough, I'd advocate far better to reduce the salaries of overpaid dr's like you to a living wage, I think £25K PA would be overly generous and all others in medical professions, like consultants to be paid the same - that will stop this problem of the NHS being under funded.
Now shut up and go away, oh - please resign from your job as you're not a caring person and obviously unsuitable for your current job.

Brian said...

Its been a while now, so I think I can safely ask this - without fear of contradiction. Did anyone, at the last election vote for any of this? Before I get inundated with answers to the contrary - i'll guess the answer is NO...But then again the Liberals opened the gate for the Tories to give Labour a kicking - and we all know what the Tories actually think of the NHS