This site is intended for health professionals only

Let’s talk about rationing

It is not sensible to restrict surgery for knees and hips on the basis of obesity as the outcomes are similar, but perhaps it is sensible to require IVF patients to stop smoking (CCGs ration care for obese and smokers with new wave of restrictions). After all, people who foster must be non-smokers.

Should we even be funding IVF at all in these straightened times?

What about cutting memory clinics, as there is little we can actually do except direct patients to social care?

What about reducing the burden of medication and hospital attendances in the frail elderly, and palliating their symptoms rather than persisting with arguably futile attempts at fixing them?

Rationing is a fact. We do not have an unlimited pot. Rationing decisions should be discussed openly by politicians and not left to GPs to have to say no to their patients.

Let’s at least have the debate.

From Dr Alice Hodkinson

Saffron Walden, Essex