Coffee House

Make people with lifestyle-related illnesses pay for their drugs, says Tory MP

26 November 2012

11:57 AM

26 November 2012

11:57 AM

Tory MP and GP Phillip Lee made a striking call this morning for patients suffering from lifestyle-related diseases such as type 2 diabetes to pay for their prescriptions as part of a larger shake-up of the NHS. He was speaking as part of a series of presentations from members of the Free Enterprise Group ahead of next week’s Autumn Statement on their proposals for spending cuts which would allow George Osborne to meet his target of having debt as a proportion of GDP falling by 2015/16.

Lee said that to ensure that people could continue to access care when they needed it, the NHS needed a fundamental reform. He told the audience at the Institute of Economic Affairs that the government and the public needed to recognise that the way the NHS had been set up for a generation of ‘stoic’ British people was now no longer viable and take steps to reform it accordingly, otherwise the health system faced what he alarmingly described as ‘collapse’.


In order to encourage patients to take responsibility for their own health, as well as saving what he estimates from FOI requests to the Health Department to be around £400 million, Lee proposes removing the right to free prescriptions for those with diabetes and other similar illnesses. He also praised the Danish system of giving a patient a budget for their prescriptions, which they would have to top up themselves if they exceeded, and suggested that all GPs should dispense medicines. Insisting that this was not part of a desire to privatise the health care system or prevent it from being free at the point of access, he said: ‘I just think that we have got to have an affordable system that rewards individual responsibility.’

He added: ‘If you want to have doughnuts for breakfast, lunch and dinner, fine, but there’s a cost.’

His suggestions for spending cuts, along with other proposals from other Tory MPs at the event – Priti Patel, Kwasi Kwarteng, David Ruffley, and Chris Skidmore – add up to what the group believes will be more than enough to enable Osborne to meet the debt target. But they would bring the Chancellor into direct collision with his Liberal Democrat colleagues, who have already resisted calls such as the one made by Kwarteng today to freeze benefits rather than uprating them in line with inflation.

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Show comments
  • maria deniels

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  • peterlemer

    I haven’t had a doughnut for 10 years. Do I get a bonus?

  • manxmade

    When was the last time Mr Philip Lee actually worked as a GP. Has he kept up to date and had his yearly apprasals to make sure he can continue to practice? Gone are the times that a GP can rest on their laurels of first qualification and practice with no further education or up dating, and revalidation- this is dangerous. Health issues change as fast as the weather and to pick on one group of people shows how niave this divvy is. I feel he cannot be classed ans a GP as he hasn’t worked as one for a long time. He is using out of date reseach and old fashioned knowledge of conditions hence the doughnut statements.
    Can you classify “lifestyle” all you have to say is “i cant cope” and you can get what you want?
    You can have that nasty tattoo (you had done when younger) removed on the NHS.
    Drug abuse (this costs the NHS mega bucks) they get a lotof support – holidays, free drugs, couselling, go and have a massage or some complimentry therapy, They don’t even contribute anything from their habit like taxes unlike with alcohol and smoking.
    You can have cosmetic surgery on the NHS if you tell them its causing you to be depressed and you want to die. (i am not knocking mental illness) Abortions is this a lifestyle choice. (there are people out there that have undergone 3 -4 proceedures)
    What about infertility treatment – this is a lifestyle choice.
    All these things need looking at, but what you cant do it just label one group- and say their all the same. Their is no easy answer and maybe there should be a public consultation on this issue (they spend lots on consultations some of which are not needed and pointless)
    just a quick point – if the drugs needed to keep a condition under control are ractioned and people have no means of obtaing them, the side effects of that condition will impact severly on the NHS. look at diabetes – i.e blindness, kidney problems leading to kidney dialysis, Vacular diease, cornary heart disease and amputations,to name but a few.
    sorry for going on but it is a very immitive subject.

  • Ivor Hutchinson

    Predisposition to type 2 diabetes can be genetic so just be very careful what you are advocating here. A headline of “Tory MP calls to only treat patients based on genetics!” would be considered by some newspapers – or pre-Leveson I am sure they would find more headline grabbing words (I think you can guess which ones). Medical staff like yourself are so ill-informed by my condition that there is almost no point talking to them. Diabetics are already fighting to get through medical miss-understanding the last thing they need is to be told they have to pay for the privilege. Please retract this very ill considered opinion as it certainly won’t help the conservatives get re-elected.

  • Cindy

    I have worked since I was 15 and am now 65 I have paid my NI and tax all my life, diabetes runs in my family, last year I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and have been told I can’t have a meter or test strips have been given Metformin twice a day and have to wait for 6 monthly blood tests. I think it is disgraceful I have worked all my life and paid my dues yet we are still taking in more migrants who get everything free, I bet the mp who is proposing this gets free prescriptions and a big fat salary with benefits

  • davebird2003

    Has anyone found out wether Dr Lee suffers from diabetes,i bet he doesn’t & if he does the money he gets for being a M.P.should more than cover the cost of treating him!!!!!

  • BaliRob

    The Government and its predecessors have frozen my pension and another half million ex-pats many of course like myself with Diabetes – saving them some five thousand pounds a year in inclusive treatment and benefits, etc. I did not live a bloody ‘Lifestyle’ I could not afford to and am in no way responsible for my illness This man has brought up another ailment with me – apoplexy!!!

  • Geoffrey

    I think it’s about time they did. Fed up to the teeth with the ones who show up here time and time again and never have any of their own.

  • happyloser

    My diabetics was caused by pancretitus which in turn was caused by a range of things such as steroids [as I have a congenital defect and a range of other illnesses and my healthy low fat diet. STOP picking on the sick PLEASE!! Life is hard enough already

  • Andy Roberts

    If the goverment was to concentrate their efforts on this country instead of propping up Europe by pouring money in to it plus all the money for fighting in 2 wars,how much has that cost the taxpayer.They complain about smoking and drinking and yet they condone it by raising taxes from cigarettes and alcohol.i Have no confidence in this goverment to put this country first only them selves as usual,

  • cheesed off

    I am 62 years old and a type 2 diabetic. Does Philip Lee think that I chose to have this illness? I was diagnosed 3 years ago, and up until then I never had a serious illness. I WORK in the NHS, and have done for the past 22years. I resent the implication that my diet consists entirely of doughnuts. If you want the NHS to save money, remove the layers of management required to provide the manditory requirements imposed by goverment, allowing the service to treat unfortunates such as myself, and perhaps pay for a labotomy for Dr Lee

  • amazed

    After reading this article, my belief that some MP’s had their brains transplanted when they were elected was reinforced. How about making drunks arrested after week end binges pay for their care? How about smokers? there are so many self abusers that get free care ( to say nothing about the foreign health tourists who never get around to paying for their care) but diabetics once more get the finger pointed at them. I was diagnosed after contracting an infection following a hysterectomy. I had this in Spain and there was no sign of it before the op —lots of blood tests done beforehand — but it kicked in with the infection— eight years ago. If this goes ahead, will the people who cannot afford to pay for their care, be abandoned when all the possible secondary problems ( heart and kidney etc) occur, or will the NHS pay even more to help them then? If so this looks like a very false economy, as prevention is much cheaper than cure.

  • Rick Methven

    What does Dr Lee eat for breakfast?
    I have never eaten doughnuts or anything like it but I am a type 2 Diabetic

  • L.Arnold

    Where is the proof that lifestyle diets cause Diabetes ? If you want money from self inflicted diseases put up the cost of smoking to double, triple and beyond, and clamp down properly on binge drinking. Make an NHS charge for RTA’s proven to be caused by drink/drug -driving. A better saving would be for MP’s to review their expenses claims, (of both types). I am a diabetes sufferer and like many others have inherited this from my family, and would not be able to afford this out of my small pension. I am sure this Tory MP Dr P. Lee and Mr Osbourne would not want the premature deaths of lots of people.

  • JanMaf

    Never thought I’d agree with a Tory politician but he has a sensible point. We all need to take responsibility for our lifestyle choices and as a 55 year-old with a Diabetic husband several years older I want to know that the NHS will provide us with treatment in later years if we are seriously ill, even if it means paying towards our routine care (via insurance?) now. Our local hospital has huge ‘No Smoking’ signs outside but every time we go past there are huddles of people or solitary patients (yes, in their dressing gowns and slippers!) puffing on cigarettes. My hard-earned taxed are paying for this as well as the Friday night drunks, etc. It’s get real time for all of us on the NHS, I’m afraid.

  • Hamster girl

    Yes leaving people to die because they can’t afford the medication that would keep them alive if they are unlucky enough to become ill would save the NHS a lot of money. Can we have an opt in euthanasia scheme to go with it please?

  • Abba

    People are obese and diabetic because they have been religiously following the Government Dietary Guidelines for the last 50 years to avoid the saturated fats that have kept the Human Race alive for thousands of years and ‘Eat plenty of starchy carbs’….most of which are full of calories and empty of nutrition. How kind. Create the problem and then expect Society to sort it out. Nothing changes.

  • Dick_Puddlecote

    Fantastic! It would get the health nutters off everyone’s back if the state wasn’t paying any more. I’m all for it.

    It does kinda put an end to the idea of free healthcare for all though, instead meaning that that those who eat too much food would have to seek out private healthcare no matter their income. But that’s OK, he’s a Tory!

    Huzzah! 😉

  • Andrew Paul Shakespeare

    Does anybody remember the opening sequence from “The Six Million Dollar Man”?

    “I can’t hold her! She’s breaking up! … Steve Austin, a man barely alive. Gentlemen, we can conduct a lifestyle inquiry to determine whether to rebuild him. We have the technology … we have the ability to build the world’s first bionic man, but since he failed to engage in regular strenuous, aerobic exercise, and ate too much red meat, stuff it.”

  • Rhoda Klapp

    Round our way there seems to be some reward to the GP for finding diabetics. People who may not have a problem are diagosed type 2 without ever having the appropriate tests. A simple fasting blood sugar is not enough. Does the practice get a reward for detecting marginal type 2? In this area so many people were being referred that the diabetic clinic could not deal with the rush, and patients are never tested properly again and are left to handle their own regime, getting some pretty poor dietary advice from the NHS to go with it.

    This is health fascism. If allowed, there is no stoppping it. Smoking, drinking, accidents, not taking vitamins, everything might be used as a pretext to charge.

  • Noa

    This is not the top to bottom sector reform that the NHS needs, merely a few ill thought-out ideas which tinker with and do not transform it.

  • Gina Dean

    Why not go the whole hog. No more cosmetic surgery, Any baby born premature do not resusitate. The elderly when past it with dementure or any thing else one could name put them down. No one from outside the UK to get any free treatment. Eugenics here we come. If the NHS club together as a cooperative and bought all there drugs at one go at the same price, think how much they could save. OK I do agree that a small charge for appointments before you get one would be a good idea to get rid of the wasted time of people not turning up. Could be something along the lines of booking the congestion charge so money does not change hands at point of delivery. Where are these people getting their ideas from, they should be focusing on more important thing than tinkering around the edges.

  • Andrew Paul Shakespeare

    He’s absolutely right. And people who live in areas of high pollution should have to pay for their own cancer treatments. Repetitive Strain Injuries should not be covered for people taking jobs associated with them. Anybody who is unable to demonstrate that he has participated daily in a strenuous, aerobic fitness regime should be ecluded from treatment for, well, just about anything, although those who do participate daily in a strenuous, aerobic fitness regime would be, of course, excluded from treatments associated with strenuous, aerobic fitness regimes.

    Andy Murray, for example, will be excluded from treatment for tennis elbow. Mountain climbers, naturally, will be entitled to no treatment should they fall off. Skiers will be excluded from treatment following an accident. Exclude drivers from treatment for car accidents, and cyclists from treatment for bicycle injuries. Certainly, don’t treat injuries resulting from suicide attempts — leaving them to die would hold a marvellous irony, don’t you think?

    The point is not without its problems, unfortunately. Smokers have been found to be less at risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, so should we refuse to treat smokers for smoking-related illnesses, treat them for Parkinson’s, while excluding non-smokers for Parkinson’s?

    What if an ex-smoker develops a smoking-related illness years after giving up? Perhaps we should offer them an index-related treatment? If one’s chances of developing heart disease are halved after ten years’ of not smoking, we can offer to cover half the costs of treatment should they develop heart disease?

    Or would it be simpler to conclude that we all take risks with our lives, and to apply the old axiom that “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone”?

  • Ian Walker

    Maybe well-off MPs can pay for their own London flats, while we’re at it?

    • Andrew Paul Shakespeare

      Now that’s just plain silly 😉

  • eeore

    So the Tories are being paid by the eugenicists now?

  • HJ777

    The problem with such a proposal is that it is very difficult in individual cases to say which afflictions were caused by lifestyle factors.

    Generally, all we can say is that there is a high probability. However, there will always be some people who are just unfortunate. Steve Redgrave had type 2 diabetes and he had a pretty good diet and fitness regime.

    • rubyduck

      The difficulty is nothing to do with individual cases. The difficulty is that we pay the tax so we damned well ought to be entitled to the service. Remove the tax on tobacco and alcohol, reduce income tax and increase pensions proportionate to the assumed cost of each service they’ve decided not to allow you, and maybe some of us will think it’s an idea with some merit.

      • HJ777

        Who is this ‘we’ and ‘us’ you claim to speak for?

        This issue is that the demand for medical care required because of unhealthy lifestyles is rising at a faster rate than can be financed by tax revenues because people somehow have the idea that it is not their responsibility and that they are ‘entitled’ to treatment.

    • Dawn McVey

      To be fair Redgraves diet is crap, he just ate more of it. Carbs carbs and more carbs, hence the pump he is on.

      • HJ777

        It wasn’t ‘crap’. Yes, it contained, necessarily, a lot of carbohydrates but nutritionally it was excellent and he wasn’t overweight.

        Pinsent’s diet was worse until told to improve it by the GB rowing team nutritionist.

  • Daniel Maris

    How can someone get to be an MP and make such a stupid pronouncement?

    Are GPs going to be given God-like powers to decide what was lifestyle and what was genes?

    And what is a “lifestyle choice”. Is pregnancy a lifestyle choice? Is Rugby a lifestyle choice? Is walking along the pavement a lifestyle choice? Is riding a bike a lifestyle choice? Is getting a blowjob a lifestyle choice?

    If the answer is no, then why is smoking 5 cigs a day a lifestyle choice ?

    • Chris Morriss

      They all seem like lifestyle choices to me.

    • petermorris

      I can understand an MP making such a stupid statement. What I can’t understand is a GP making it!

  • Airey Belvoir

    By way of example, how about making clinically obese people ineligible to work as MP’s? There would be a major cull in the Commons. And why did Labour choose an obese woman – Abbott – as their shadow Health Minister? Surely the last person to be lecturing on healthy living.

  • MirthaTidville

    What this overpaid and comfortable clown of a GP hasnt realised yet is that people pay taxes together with NI to fund their prescriptions, when they need them. As long as Governments impose these taxes on people its their duty to provide such things as life saving medicines……As for Doctors, well these days they are more useful than Estate Agents, but a lot less trustworthy..

    • Paintedlady

      Have you actually stopped to think what Dr. Lee may be getting at? Obviously not. This is a totally different problem facing our country. We should be worrying about the consumption of achohol by the young of today, who will be the old of tomorrow with liver disease. The consumption of fast foods, sugary foods, high fat foods of the young today who will be the old of tomorrow with diabetes and heart problems. You mention paying NI. How many of the young of today will be able to hold down a job to pay their contributions. They are probably the young on benefits, collect from the Post Office one day and spend on the way home on drink and takeaways.
      Why can’t people open their eyes and see the mess that we are in. It did not all happen in the last two years, how about the previous 13 years!!!!!!!!!!!
      By the way, I hope you don’t need a doctor anytime soon after that last remark. As for overpaid and a clown, well words fail me – or I could not put it into print.YOU SOUND THE CLOWN

      • MirthaTidville

        Unfortunately, painted lady now that sounds appropriate, I am a net user of Doctors and regular prescriptions for an illness NOT of my own fault, a concept you seem unable to grasp. I make my remark about them precisely because I know them and their devious ways.Its called personal experience, obviously something you dont know about tucked away in your ivory tower dear. Some of us actually care about those who are ill and need the NHS not silly nasty party members who just want to save money so you can have tax cuts….GROW UP

      • Andrew Paul Shakespeare

        Is shouting and verbal abuse really necessary? Does it make us take you more seriously, do you think?

        Perhaps you’re right that Mirtha Tidville hasn’t “actually stopped to think” — is that a crime?

        Educated people successfully convey their points without shouting or abusing those who exercise their right to dissent. What a pity that you seem unable to do this.

      • eeore

        “They are probably the young on benefits, collect from the Post Office one day and spend on the way home on drink and takeaways.”

        Leaving aside your bigoted nature, it won’t affect people on benefits as they get free prescriptions bundled into most forms of benefit (though curiously not contribution based invalidity benefit).

        “The consumption of fast foods, sugary foods, high fat foods of the young
        today who will be the old of tomorrow with diabetes and heart problems.”

        There you go again. Rather than focus on particular foods, perhaps you might like to consider the way in which the food is grown, and that modern farming methods tend to ignore crop rotation, meaning that the food is deficient of minerals. Or indeed the crops themselves. A good example is wheat which used to be a good source of Selenium, but now is not. And as a result breast cancer has now rocketed.

        And curiously, given the topic, diabetes is largely a result of mineral deficiency.

        But try asking you doctor for a prescription of minerals and vitamins?

      • Rob F

        Paintedlady, do you often copy and paste your own earlier comments?

        And did you know that reported consumption of alcohol by the young has actually been falling for some time?

        Having a preconception of a certain group of people, and being unwilling to do some basic research marks you as a bigot.

  • Troika21

    If they charge for ‘lifestyle’ resultant costs, will they pay for lifestyle changes?

    If this is how they want to work it, why not just give everyone who’s looking after themselves a tax rebate?

  • Kevin

    “Phillip Lee made a striking call”

    No, what would have been striking is if he had mentioned the lifestyle-related illness that dare not speak its name.

    As it is, he picked on people who rely on sugary foods for a boost while they are working all the hours God sends just to pay for someone else’s fat public sector salary and pension.

  • GaryEssex

    Have the LibDems agreed to any spending cuts, ever? It seems to be me that each time Conservatives in the Coalition propose a sensible reduction in spending or an idea that could save money, up pops a LibDem to say it will be opposed. Apart from abolishing Trident, do they actually have any policies that involve being prudent with the nation’s finances? Perhaps we should be told.

  • DavidDP

    Oddly, this is not entirely dis-similar to the driver behind things like minimum pricing of alchohol – a way to make people pay for the external costs they impose on society through their actions (or inactions). Except minimum pricing perhaps makes it easier to focus costs on lifestyle choices, which might be hard to do at prescription payment level and would avoid penalising people that develop things like diabities through no fault of there own.
    Although minimum pricing seem to be quite unpopular……

  • Magnolia

    Not all people with type 2 diabetes are overweight or fat. There are some slim ones and they may have a genetic susceptibility but in principle I agree that one way to get costs down is to charge a healthcare premium for some lifestyles which lead to increased costs. Smokers, the overweight, those with excessive alcohol and drug intake would be easy ones to identify but what about the people with no money to pay?
    Then there are the indirect ones which might offend people. I understand that frequent and early abortions increase the risk of breast cancer. Is that a lifestyle choice?
    Some cases of throat and mouth cancer may be due to transmissible viruses from oral sex etc. you get my drift? The whole area of venereal disease would be difficult and there may still be some little old ladies who test positive for syphilis but who have led blameless lives. At the moment many prescribed drugs are cheaper than the prescription charge and that’s not fair because it’s a tax on illness and bad luck.
    The whole area is a mess. It might be better to introduce a charge for visiting the GP.

  • Sweetpea

    Altogether now… “You can’t trust the Tories with the NHS.”

    • DavidDP

      I’d have thought making efforts to reform the service such that it can survive were more of a sign of trustworthyness over something than just letting it continue as it is and fall apart.

      • Sweetpea

        Or you might think that efforts to reform the NHS away from its core principles – while claiming to do otherwise (“We will stop the top-down reorganisation of the NHS”) – is clearly untrustworthy.

  • barbie

    How about charging non-British citizens which is running at 55 million per year funded via the taxpayers. They should be here for 7 years before they can claim and have free treatment, and paid NI. I would remind these so called MPs, most of the people claiming for diabetis have paid NI stamps all of their working life, besides paying taxes while they worked. I find this suggestion disgraceful. While we are allowing people to come here and claim benefits, have free housing, free medical care, and persecute British citizens who have paid their way all their lives. I’m a diabetic, type 2, if I had to pay for my prescriptions out of a derisory penision, I’m afraid I could not afford to pay for them. They have now stopped type 2 diabetic patients from having testing strips to test blood glucose, they now have to rely on 6 monthly testing via a GP, which could prove fatal. Drug addicts have more money for drugs given them than diabetic patients, its not self inflicted it can happen to anyone and is part of genetic makeup. Diabetis runs in my family for four generations, I’ve done everything expected of me for healthy living but still developed it. If this is the caring Conservatives then I don’t like or want it, its UKIP for me.

    • Paintedlady

      Have you actually stopped to think what Dr. Lee may be getting at? Obviously not. This is a totally different problem facing our country. We should be worrying about the consumption of achohol by the young of today, who will be the old of tomorrow with liver disease. The consumption of fast foods, sugary foods, high fat foods of the young today who will be the old of tomorrow with diabetes and heart problems. You mention paying NI. How many of the young of today will be able to hold down a job to pay their contributions. They are probably the young on benefits, collect from the Post Office one day and spend on the way home on drink and takeaways.
      Why can’t people open their eyes and see the mess that we are in. It did not all happen in the last two years, how about the previous 13 years!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Rhoda Klapp

        Most people are pretty normal, you know. The picture of disaster you paint is not our country. You may have the urge to interfere with the lifestyles of others, but you ought to consider whether this is in fact your problem, not theirs.

        Here’s some exclams, you may have run out.!!!

        • Paintedlady

          Oh so funny!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
          Oh and you have your head in the sand!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Rahul Kamath

      The NhS budget is about £100 billion. Don’t think £55 million saved is going to change anything.

  • Coffeehousewall

    What is the cost to the NHS of immigrants and their children? Total costs including GP attendance, outpatient, maternity etc etc and the very prevalent cases of genetic disorders due to marrying close relatives.

    If we wish to reduce costs then we need to ask how much immigrants and their children are costing and how much they are paying in?

    For instance, the average cost of a birth is about £1500. There are about 1,500,000 children born to immigrants in the UK, and it has increased to about 250,000 a year. This suggests an annual cost at present of £375 million, but this is only for the birth and does not cover pre-natal or post-natal care. How much of this do we get back through taxation of the same people? About 90% of Somalian immigrants, for instance, are on benefits and not likely to be contributing at all.

    • TomTom

      Don’t ask about prescription drugs being issued to a patient acting as a proxy for a relative abroad and then sending them overseas

    • aaa

      well its better to have a growing population than falling ,and children go up to work and pay taxes. VAT,Income tax etc.
      Immigrants dont just have children, they also work and pay taxes.

      • eeore

        Indeed they do, but they are also not factored in when setting long term budgets via actuarial calculation.

  • dorothy wilson

    My father developed Type 2 Diabetes when he was in his 70s. He certainly did not eat junk food, nor did he live an unhealthy life style.

    If we want to cut the costs that irresponsible people cause to the NHS perhaps we should design some system to penalise those who do not turn up for appointments.

    • HFC

      Yeah, including the bloody consultants that fail to keep appointments! It’s happened to me twice in the last five years.H

      • petermorris

        I suggested to my GP practice that they should send a text message to patients who miss appointments – before the appointment and not complain about it afterwards. The GP thought it was a good idea! Why haven’t they thought about that ages ago?

    • petermorris

      I have Type II diabetes and I understand it is not actually “caused” by eating junk food, sweet food, etc. at all. It is more likely genetically linked. I inherited mine from my father!

  • Samantha Ashman

    This, in theory, would bring the cost of NHS prescriptions down. The issue I see with it is that it is hard to define with any real clarity what illnesses related to ‘lifestyle decisions’ are. Perhaps the idea of someone who eats ‘doughnuts for breakfast, lunch and dinner’ is an easy mark to hit, but what about those people who engage in high-risk sports or who hike? What about those people who either have not the knowledge, capacity or opportunity to engage in healthier lifestyle activities? Children whose parents have a bad diet would be later penalised for any resulting illnesses perhaps? Where do we draw the line between the people whose lifestyle might legitimately harm their health and those people whose lifestyle choices should be penalised? Would we, eventually, charge people extra for their use of the NHS simply because they didn’t go for a run everyday when they were 30-40 years old? Perhaps those people who cycle should be charged for treatment of knee issues?

    In theory, and superficially, this might seem like an excellent idea to the MP suggesting it. However, healthcare is not theoretical; it is about practice. Nothing is ever so simple or so clear-cut as some people would like to believe.

    • HooksLaw

      Correct. It is for the most part a daft idea.
      It people who were stupid were denied access to the NHS then most commentators on here would be barred.

      • TomTom

        You are still posting however – exception that proves the rule

    • barbie

      I think its got a lot to do with tax cuts, which Tories relish, but they’ve never liked the NHS and want a private system, they don’t care one jot for those who may not be able to afford private medical bills, (it wouldn’t be their problem), selfish to the core. Greed, has manifested it’s self into this party, and those who are at the bottom of the pile are their least worries. They should be ashamed of themselves. Once this began others areas would be included, and we would have a private health care system they’ve always dreamed of. They are still the ‘nasty party’ what other proof do you want?

      • HJ777

        I would prefer a system with a large proportion of private provision for the simple reason that the less well off are better provided for in other European countries where they have such systems.

        Who provides a service and how it is funded are two very different things.

  • TomTom

    Make heroin-addicts pay for their methadone……is that a proposal on the table or are they to be a favoured group of lifestyle ailment ?

  • Olaf

    Why not just genetically fingerprint every citizen and work out their susceptibility to each disorder you wish to charge them for? No two individuals are the same that’s why you can get one person who has smoked every day of their lives living to 100 while another non-smoker may die of lung cancer at 25. Prove that the self inflicted damage was the trigger and not one of hundreds of other incremental and natural factors (radon gas anyone). Plus add that to the fact that there are racial factors to take into account. Do you know for instance that people with Chinese ancestry are more susceptible to lung cancer than Caucasians? Those with African ancestry are more susceptible to type 2 diabetes. Somehow I think that’s a debate that MPs will not want to get into.
    Biology isn’t exact.

    • TomTom

      Ethnic-Profiling in the NHS would have merit if they can identify those susceptible to miscengenation defects among sequential first-cousin marriages contracted for economic reasons to preserve family wealth in dowry communities at the expense of taxpayer carrying the cost of birth defects

    • aaa

      yea lets ban people with pre existing conditions like the yanks used to