(London Independent) Smokers and obese people will be denied surgery on the NHS by cash-strapped hospitals trying to save money, senior health officials have warned.
Vale of York Care Commissioning Group has announced it will make people wait up to a year for non-essential surgery if they are overweight, until their body mass index (BMI) drops to 30. The group said the decision has been made as "the best way of achieving maximum value from the limited resources available".
The Royal College of Surgeons has described the decision as "the most severe the modern NHS has ever seen" amid concerns the NHS' funding crisis is seriously impeding its ability to function.
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Chris Hopson, head of NHS Providers, told The Daily Telegraph: "I think we are going to see more and more decisions like this. It's the only way providers are going to be able to balance their books, and in a way you have to applaud their honesty.
"You can see why they're doing this – the service is bursting at the seams."