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Brutal British Health-Care Cuts
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March 29, 2010 (EIRNS)—The horror of what lies ahead for the United States now that President Barack Obama's health care reform has been passed, is already part of everyday life in Great Britain. Passed with the complicity of the Democrats in Congress, the central feature of the new bill are mechanisms to cut costs by providing less service. Obama's bill was explicitly modeled on the British health system.

In Great Britain. a Letter to the Editor in the British Guardian, six top British medical authorities reveal that brutal cuts are already in effect in that country's National Health Service, including the denial of basic surgical procedures.

They write:

Primary care trusts (PCT) are restricting patient access to many treatments in order to save money. Across the country, thousands of patients attend their General Practitioners surgeries with conditions that can be effectively treated by surgery and are being turned away. Some patients may not even be told that an operation could help their problem. Those patients who are referred to a specialist may now find that they are refused funding for surgery by their PCTs, which have arbitrarily defined a number of operations that reduce pain, improve quality of life and prevent serious long-term complications as being of 'limited clinical value.

The letter adds that these cuts are being made without public being consulted, let alone being informed. The responsibility for telling the patient he or she is being denied treatment is left to the doctor.

In a separate article reporting this letter, the Guardian writes that the procedures that are being denied patients mirror those that management consultants McKinsey proposed, which stated that the NHS should "decommission," in order to save £700 million, in a report to the Department of Health last year.

The letters signers report that these decisions are being made without consulting surgeons.