Patients are having to plead with the National Health Service (NHS) in England for hip replacements, cataract surgery, and other routine treatments that were once provided without question, an investigation has found, according to a report in the London Daily Mail.
As managers are imposing increasingly strict eligibility guidelines to limit the number of patients referred for routine procedures, there has been a surge in the number of special requests made by doctors on patients’ behalf for procedures to be funded. In total, some 73,900 requests were made in 2016 and 2017. Out of these, half were rejected as they were not deemed cost effective or beneficial.
According to the Daily Mail report, the total number of requests has increased by 20 percent in the past year and by almost 50 percent compared to 4 years ago. Many were for treatments that were previously routinely available on the NHS, such as hip and knee replacements, cataract surgery, and procedures to repair damaged nerves or varicose veins.