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Shock patients into taking personal responsibility

One of the problems with the NHS, and maybe our society too, is that we focus on illness rather than health. We should be trying to empower patients to live healthier lives.

Harm minimisation is a self-defeating strategy; it encourages people to realise there is a very soft landing if they make poor choices, for example regarding smoking and obesity.

Why should smokers be more entitled to free statins, just because they increase their own risk of CHD?

The same applies to those with type 2 diabetes, who are supposed to receive treatment if their Framingham risk assessment is 15 per cent. This is lower than for other people who have avoided smoking and overeating. Maybe smokers should pay for statins, whatever their risk? And maybe type 2 diabetics should too?

I don't know if such a shocking move would encourage people to learn personal responsibility. It might do.

Dr Mark Reed

Bournemouth

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