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NHS “should not treat problems caused by bad lifestyle”

11 January 2010

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Prescriptions for common painkillers and treatment for acne should not be provided on the NHS, according to a new report.

And drunk patients should receive a fine, 2020Health said. The resources could then be used to help “serious” illness, the right-wing think tank said.

Treating obesity, STDs and alcohol abuse, which are down to “lifestyle choices”, is costing the NHS millions each year,  the Responsibility in Healthcare report claims.

Chief executive of 2020Health, Julia Manning, said: “The universal healthcare system is at the core of our society, but too often it is treated with the same casual regard as calling for a taxi or booking a train ticket.

“We must encourage people to be more in control of their own health. It’s reassuring to know that the NHS is there for you, but that doesn’t mean you should be free to routinely end up there after a night out.”

She said the NHS should not spend money on treating “minor ailments” and instead patients should be left to cope for themselves.

The report says no cosmetic procedures should be available on the NHS at all.

Copyright © Press Association 2010

What’s your view? Do you agree with the report? Your comments (terms and conditions apply):

“Most practices would agree that ‘minor aliments’ take up a lot of precious appointments, and patients should be encouraged to pay for over-the-counter medicine which is relatively cheap. This would reduce the workload quite considerably and would definitely improve access for patients with genuine conditions that require medical intervention” – Anne Care, Birmingham

“Whole-heartedly agree!” – Gill Forster, Cheshire