You have seen various articles from me before on the subject of weight loss surgery in the NHS and why we should be doing more. The health and financial arguments are well established, but still we only do 5,000 procedures per year. See my article here.
If we compare the UK’s obesity rate to that of other western European countries, then we should be doing ten times as many. I mean, even Belgium does more than twice as many as we do.
A rational review of weight loss surgery and its benefits would leave anyone in no doubt that it makes sense. The return on investment is very quick when the savings on expensive medical treatment for conditions such as Type 2 Diabetes are taken into account. If the arguments are powerful and those arguments are understood by smart people (doctors and commissioners), why don’t we do more?
It has to be down to prejudice. The view persists that obesity is some kind of lifestyle choice. It simply isn’t that simple. I read a powerful article on this subject recently by the renowned British bariatric surgeon, Mr Richard Welbourn. He argued persuasively that the problem lies with a societal prejudice against the obese. He concludes with the sentence, "It’s time to stop judging and let the experts start treating the condition". We've linked to Mr Welbourn’s full article on The Guardian website below.
Public attitudes won’t change quickly but I can vouch for the fact that most of the people I have seen in clinic are desperate for a cure to their obesity. They’ve tried everything to manage it themselves but are failing in the battle with their body, and that’s exactly what it is, a daily battle.
If you want to learn more about obesity, use the links below, or contact me using the form here with your question.
Ref: Obese people deserve surgical treatment too - Richard Welbourn, The Guardian
Weight loss surgery
Gastric band - NHS or private
Why won't the NHS pay?