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The waiting game

Government cuts to sexual health services could cost NHS ‘billions’ over next decade

The Government’s planned cuts to public health budgets could end up costing the health service in the region of £3.5bn over the next 10 years as unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) go up, sexual health experts are warning.

A report by the Family Planning Association anticipated cutbacks as a result of the Government’s £200m cut to local councils’ public health budgets, due to take effect from January, will hit sexual health and contraceptive services particularly hard.

The possibility of further cuts to be announced in the Chancellor’s spending review next week will exacerbate this, it added.

Assuming a 10% reduction in access to these services, economists estimate this could cost an extra £2.4bn over the next 10 years on healthcare related to unwanted pregnancies, and an additional £1.1bn on dealing with STIs.

The report found the wider costs to the public could be between £17bn and £28bn.

FPA chief executive Natika H Halil said the report ‘clearly shows that making cuts to sexual and reproductive health funding results in enormous costs further down the line and is incredibly short sighted’.

Dr Anne Connolly, a GPin Bradford and chair of the Primary Care Women’s Forum, said the cuts put at risk ‘a decade of hard work’ improving training in and access to contraception.

Dr Connolly said: ‘Making cuts to contraceptive services not only makes bad economic sense, it compromises the health and wellbeing of those who are already the most vulnerable.’

Family Planning Association: Unprotected Nation 2015

Readers' comments (6)

  • Cuts, cuts, cuts and more cuts. We are a rich and supposedly developed nation FFS, we can afford to have free heath and social care.
    I am not happy at all that my taxes are handled by cold-hearted monsters interested more in funding wars and lining their pockets than taking care of their own people. Something tells me there will be an early election coming soon.

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  • Vinci Ho

    This government is not interested in 'not ready to happen' long term economic benefit . The obsession of the Chancellor of Exchequer and the government is to reach surplus of the economy in 2020( will be very doubtful if we go into war in Syria)so as to have short term advantage to the Tory party for next general election . As I always say a government of the GDP , by the GDP, for the GDP. Wish our sexual health expert colleagues can raise a much more challenging voice .........

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  • where I am currently working we can't test for gonorrhoea in the practice, only sexual health clinics. however almost nobody wants to go there when signposted. net result = nobody gets tested for gonorrhoea.

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  • They do not have to worry. They will never not have a surplus in their own accounts. If there's a medical problem they can pay. They are high profile and have police protection, they live in good homes. They can afford an ideology where profit and self reliance rules because that's where they are.
    They hate us as we are parasites on the government,they cannot see our financial worth. The only way to prove it is to all be private and then they'll see how cheap we were and they still can pay so won't care. It's ideology not rationality or caring for those that truly need.

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  • I thought the government intended to just screw NHS without Vaseline. Lol:) they're now going to do it without condoms too.
    A bit thoughtless or do they believe, the raucous that follows is not going to affect them.

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