Many people have been receiving non-urgent cosmetic and medical surgeries, and the bills have been paid by the taxpayers. These non-urgent procedures include acupuncture, Botox and even penile implants. More than £78,786 of the taxpayers money has been spent on these procedures since 2009, NHS Surrey reported.
The most money was spent on acupuncture, with 50 seperate patients spending more than £1000 each for a total cost of £51,428. The next most expensive was Botox, with 33 people treated for excess sweating. This has cost taxpayers £15,133. And finally 4 people got penile implants with a price-tag of £12,225. Even more was spent on removing excess skin. The money spent on this was £15,651. But by far the most prevalent treatment formerly covered by taxpayers’ money is the epidural spinal injection used for the treatment of chronic back pain. £209,936 was spent on this procedure last year, with £136,387 already being spent this year.
The health service’s Fast, Steady, Stop Programme will end the payment for all of these non-urgent procedures to save the county money. NHS Surrey has stated: ‘if you don’t need it, the NHS won’t won’t pay for it’. From now on, these procedures will only be paid for if completely necessary. Health services could not explain exactly what this means.
The other procedure which the health service will stop paying for are: facial hirsutism for women, hair transplant, corrective surgery for male pattern baldness, general hair loss correction and tattoo removal.
One large reason for the cessation of payment for these procedures is to try to correct the £125m deficit in NHS Surrey.
A PCT spokesman said that some procedures could still be used if doctors think it is the right approach, but this will be determined on an individual basis. He said also that in certain cases, it is possible that acupuncture could be used to treat people with chronic back problems.
He also went on to explain how the ‘Fast, Steady, Stop’ approach would help Surrey provide better treatment and make better use of taxpayers’ money. The hope is also obviously o balace the budget in Surrey.