MPs to debate NHS privatisation, nine out of ten breast cancer patients not offered fertility treatment, and cold weather will 'kill thousands'
A round-up of the morning’s health news headlines
A bill which aims to roll back the ‘creeping privatisation’ of the NHS and undo key parts of the 2012 reforms will be debated before parliament, though the BBC reports it is unlikely to become law.
Labour’s Private Members Bill would ‘end compulsory tendering’ for NHS contracts and would also remove the ability of NHS hospitals to earn up to 49% of their income from private patients.
Clive Efford, Labour MP for Eltham, said: ‘The NHS as we know it today will disappear if we continue to allow services to be forced out to private companies. It will seriously undermine the capacity of the NHS to provide services in the future, leaving us at the mercy of the private sector.’
The Guardian reports that as many as 5,000 women a year are missing out on fertility advice after being diagnosed with breast cancer, research by charity Breast Cancer Care has shown.
Just one in ten women was referred to a fertility clinic after being diagnosed, and a survey of 50 oncologists, surgeons and nurses found a third were not discussing how treatment would impact on patient’s fertility.
Breast Cancer Care’s chief executive, Samia al Qadhi, said: ‘Many healthcare professionals are not discussing fertility options, and clear referral systems are not in place.’
And finally, the Express winds gently into the weekend with the news that cold weather will ‘kill thousands’ because of cuts to winter fuel allowance and the overstretched NHS.
Fuel poverty charity National Energy Action said in an open letter to David Cameron that the cost to the NHS of treating cold related illness was £1.5bn, and wants immediate assistance measures put in place.
Chief executive Jenny Saunders said: ‘Make this a brighter winter for our poorest citizens and deliver essential short-term relief. Without it, thousands will die again this winter.’