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NHS Should Cover Lifestyle Diseases - Essay Example

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Self inflicted-illnesses are medical conditions that are mainly as a result of certain lifestyle modes such as alcoholism, smoking and unhealthy diets. These diseases include and not limited to lung cancer, cirrhosis, heart diseases, diabetes, chronic renal failure, depression, obesity, asthma and stroke, among others, which are most common in industrialized countries leading to them being termed as diseases of civilization (Hanson, 2010)…
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NHS Should Cover Lifestyle Diseases

Download file to see previous pages... The National Health Service (NHS) is a UK government entity that provides health care to patients regardless of their ailments, social, political or religious inclinations as long as one is a UK citizen or has lived in the country for more than 12 months among other conditions. Funds to facilitate healthcare through this scheme are generated mainly from taxes collected from the public. It is estimated that every individual in the country contributes close to ?1000 every financial year totalling the collections to approximately ?100 billion as per 2008/9 budget (Hanson, 2010). This paper is a critical evaluation on whether the NHS should take care of illnesses that are as a result of dangerous habits such as smoking, alcohol abuse, poor dieting among others. Primary Healthcare Trusts (PCTs) in the UK are reportedly refusing to offer certain kinds of treatment to patients, who are considered as living unhealthy life thus barring them from benefiting from the NHS scheme. These patients are for example smokers, abusers of alcohol, and those who have body mass indexes (BMI) exceeding 30 or who are generally overweight and obese. According to Rojas (2012), “The NHS has been accused of blocking access to surgery for smokers and obese patients.” This has been attributed to the intent of the health sector to save money. Such restrictions are being observed in PCTs in places such as North Essex, Lincolnshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire among others, which are numerous. To begin with, such kinds of restrictions are discriminatory based on the fact that all UK citizens are human beings, who are created equally and with equal rights and privileges, which cannot be denied on the basis of trying to economise on financial resources. The NHS is a scheme, which is there to take care of all citizens’ health needs irrespective of their personal habits especially with the consideration that these people pay taxes, which fund the operations of the scheme (Ham, 2008). Personal habits such as smoking and drinking of alcohol are every person’s right to choose whether to indulge or not. Otherwise, the government could have banned their use long time ago thereby making it illegal to possess or consume. Every citizen has an inalienable right to pursue happiness and if such reward can be found in the use of these legal substances, then, no institution or individual should try and force people to abandon them. The decision to quit smoking, drinking or to minimize intake of junk food is personal but this does not mean that those who choose not to should be condemned to torture, discrimination or death. Denying people of treatment on the basis of their personal habits is a measure that the government should not even contemplate as this does not help them in any way. In deed, it only complicates their health and this may result to deaths that are otherwise preventable. Apart from paying taxes, these people, whether obese or otherwise, contribute to the country’s economic growth through their different economic activities and services, which they provide to the nation. It therefore goes without saying that if they ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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