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Patients live in agony after NHS refuses to pay for pain management

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posted on Aug, 2 2009 @ 03:10 PM
"Tens of thousands with chronic back pain will be forced to live in agony after a decision to slash the number of painkilling injections issued on the NHS, doctors have warned."


The UK Government's drug rationing group says "therapeutic" injections of steroids, such as cortisone to reduce inflammation should no longer be offered to patients suffering from persistent lower back pain.

Instead the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) is ordering doctors to offer patients remedies like acupuncture and osteopathy.

Specialists fear tens of thousands of people, mainly the elderly and frail, will be left to suffer excruciating levels of pain or pay as much as $1,200 for each private treatment.

The NHS currently issues more than 60,000 treatments of steroid injections every year. NICE said in its guidance it wants to cut this to just 3,000 treatments a year, a move which would save the NHS £33 million.

Of course, this is precisely what Barack Obama envisions for the U.S. under his national health care plan.

... part of what I think government can do effectively is to be an honest broker in assessing and evaluating treatment options ... .

... when I talk about the importance of using comparative-effectiveness studies as a way of reining in costs ... it is an attempt to say to patients, you know what, we’ve looked at some objective studies out here, people who know about this stuff, concluding that the blue pill, which costs half as much as the red pill, is just as effective ... .

I think that there is going to have to be a conversation that is guided by doctors, scientists, ethicists. And then there is going to have to be a very difficult democratic conversation that takes place. ... And that’s part of why you have to have some independent group that can give you guidance.

"After the Great Recession"

New York Times Magazine, April 28, 2009 (published in print May 3, 2009)

Obama advocated rationing and the use of third parties to determine cost and necessity of treatment, rather than the patient or guarantor.

The NHS has also recently decided to limited the availablility of organs for transplant, depending upon the patients' origins. Private care patients will be at the back of the line, as will foreign born and nationalized citizens.

The elderly are also suffering at the hands of government care-givers under the NHS' "public option" nationalized health care.

National Health Care? "Elderly left at risk by bidding to find cheapest care"

Despite the blandishments and promises, nationalized medical care, as Obama envisions it and as practiced in other countries, results in denial of choice, denial of care, and increased costs. All at the patients' expense.

Think hard and read before you blindly accept that BHO or any government will do what is best for you and your loved ones. Especially when it comes to medical care.

deny ignorance


[edit on 2-8-2009 by jdub297]


mod edit, to fix link

[edit on 4-8-2009 by DontTreadOnMe]

posted on Aug, 2 2009 @ 03:24 PM
Great find.

I am sure Obamacare will eventually include RFID implant chips and DNA testing. Hospitals in New Jersey are doing trials on medical info - RFID implants and DNA testing/data banking for newborns is also done in some states. Pee in the bottle or no job shows the government already knows how to get around the Constitution. "Free" medical care could mean no freedom.

posted on Aug, 3 2009 @ 03:28 PM
Starred and flagged.

People have got to understand that this is the future of health car in the U.S. if obamacare gets approved.

The government will be deciding if you should receive care for your conditions or not, and as we are seeing in the UK, the decisions will be made on the basis of cost and not compassion.

Plus, recall the provision in obamacare that forces "senior citizens" to consult with their (government) doctor on "dying with dignity". So, if the government decides to withhold pain killing treatments, it will make the government doctors job of talking people into dying (to save the government money) just that much easier.

Obamaphiles, starting to understand yet?

posted on Aug, 4 2009 @ 02:31 PM

Of course, this is precisely what Barack Obama envisions for the U.S. under his national health care plan.

But it is the way things are without Obama having done anything yet. Unless you are immensely wealthy or in receipt of health insurance from an employer, you will have to get more than the figure of $1200 you mention.

NICE make the judgement of what is effective medication and sustaining people with non-life threatening illnesses on medication indefinitely is not cost effective.

Denying steroid injections across the board is unlikely. I suspect those with untreatable back pain will still get the medication and the others will probably be offered operations, weight loss treatment, some will get pilates, etc.

posted on Aug, 4 2009 @ 03:12 PM

Originally posted by masonwatcher

Denying steroid injections across the board is unlikely. I suspect those with untreatable back pain will still get the medication and the others will probably be offered operations, weight loss treatment, some will get pilates, etc.

Unfortunately, what you "suspect" to be the truth and what the article quoting people from the UK government actually said are two different things. Your avatar wears armor, but your posts often suggest something more like sheeple rather than warrior. :sad:

posted on Aug, 4 2009 @ 09:08 PM
reply to post by masonwatcher

Just because a corporation does the evil now doesn't make it ok for government to do it too. These sorts of arguments are disingenuous and cloud rational thought.

posted on Aug, 4 2009 @ 09:37 PM
reply to post by projectvxn

Can't agree with you. It is fundamentally about the allocation of resource based on rational and scientific reasoning. In private health, this exercise in the allocation of resources is achieved by pricing out those who cannot afford to pay the premium.

The reason governments are controlling expenditure is because of the world wide recession. This loss of full services is also felt more extensively in the private health care system through increasing unemployment.

The fact is that if the condition of chronic pain is not curable, the NHS will provide suitable pain management. Were treatment is withdrawn, alternatives will be provided.

There are deficiencies in the NHS but people in the UK rely on it and support it. When the economy is good, we get most of what is desired including cosmetic surgery if your doctor identifies a psychological need.

[edit on 093131p://pm3112 by masonwatcher]

posted on Aug, 27 2009 @ 11:24 PM
As a pain patient, I find this absolutely appalling. I recieve monthly injections into my lower back due to being born with the worst form of spina bifida, myleomeningocele, as well as a host of other horribly painful problems. I had surgery on my left wrist for carpal tunnel syndrome, and it actually made the pain MUCH worse. I have carpal tunnel laterally but refuse surgery because I would rather have some function then barely any at all. I am unable to do heavy lifting or drive for long periods of time.

Im also only twenty five years old.

Due to my medical history, if this was nationalized health care, I'd probably be dead. They would have aborted me from the get-go due to my very slim chances to live - let alone walk. They told my mother an abortion would be the best for them, and if for some reason I did live past the first year, I would not be able to walk.

Well, it turns out I was an incredibly lucky person. I have no problems with mobility, paralysis, or anything else that they were anticipating. I used to play football, was a full contact kick boxer, have a degree in network engineering, and have no need for supportive braces or a wheelchair. Granted, I basically hit the jackpot of spinal surgery with my condition, if this was nationalized health care - I would be dead. Never even given a chance to live, because its more "economical", or somebody else deserved the treatment more then me. Thats a scary thought to think of.

Without my pain medications and injections, life would be unbearable. If they decided to no longer help pay for my pain management, I dont know what I would have to do any more. Quality of life for your citizens is much more important then greed.

I used to think the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry was for the patient, but boy was I wrong. Its all a big scheme to suck as much money out of you as possible before you die. The only difference would be they will decide who lives and dies, thus denying treatment, and in turn saving money. They will play god in order to get rich, at the expense of the patients mental, physical, and emotional health.

I really hope this bill does not pass. Its not our fault many americans are too greedy to pay for their own health care. Its not our fault illegal immigrants flood our hospitals for free care, leeching off the system. Its not our fault insurance companies are not allowed to work across state lines. That right there would drive the costs WAY down. There is so many ways to fix our health care system without destroying it.

Pain management is the most important aspect of my life. Without it, I would not be the person I am today. Just as many other Americans need their medications to maintain some quality of life, and they want to take that away from us? That should be criminal.

I can only hope this does not go into effect. Not only would it ruin my life, but also the lives of many pain patients around the country.

posted on Aug, 28 2009 @ 12:09 AM
reply to post by deadline527

Hey, it's already here!

I just spent the better part of a week to resolve a dispute between a 36-year employee of a GIANT food corporation and his/their insurance carrier over pain management and disability due to thoracic myelopathy, among other things.

They were 24 hours away from kicking him to the street, having left him without income for 5 months, because THE INSURANCE COMPANY couldn't read and understand their own policy!

I helped him take control over his own medical care, and guess what happened?

The carrier and employer acknowledged their errors, he was re-instated and granted RETROACTIVE pay and benefits!

Until people wake up and DEMAND the right to take care of themselves, they will always be at others' mercy.

Simple as that.

We may not have a "right to healthcare" paid for by others, but we do have a right to control our own destiny and our own care.

We have to insist on this basic principle, or we will never succeed in "reform."

Good luck to you.


[edit on 28-8-2009 by jdub297]

posted on Aug, 28 2009 @ 12:53 AM
The DEA controls narcotic pain medications here in the US by scaring doctors into not proscribing them to people that need them.

Tome people with terminal cancer can not get the some of the narcotic pain meds unless they are in the hospital.

I have a severe pain condition but am lucky that i found a non narcotic medication to control my pain. gabapentin

posted on Aug, 28 2009 @ 12:57 AM
A lot of steriods can cause tissues to thin and actually be very bad for you.

Since I didn't see any mention of this vital fact, I thought I would mention it. My pain management specialists limits the number a patient can have in any particular area anyway.

posted on Aug, 28 2009 @ 01:19 AM
reply to post by deadline527

You would not be denied your injections. This advice to doctors by NICE is for people who have had back pain for less than a year with no specific cause.

I have fibromyalgia, I have a lignocaine infusion every three months I attend a pain management clinic, they will not leave people without an alternative. I am chemical sensitive cannot take the medication for fibro, my doctor and consultant have tried many things with me so that my pain is at least managable, they will not leave me to suffer.
Surely if accipuncture etc., works it is better than filling the body with a foreign substance with adverse effects.

The NHS is not perfect, but and it is a big but, nobody is turned away there is not millions without adequate health care.

If someone does not want socialised health care fair enough but to continue to criticise the NHS by scouring the net for isolated bad practice or debates like this one without counter balancing with the positive of the NHS is scaremongering.

[edit on 28-8-2009 by dizzylizzy]

posted on Aug, 28 2009 @ 02:18 PM

Originally posted by dizzylizzy
If someone does not want socialised health care fair enough but to continue to criticise the NHS by scouring the net for isolated bad practice or debates like this one without counter balancing with the positive of the NHS is scaremongering.

I have no criticism of the NHS as I am not a client.

The "criticism" comes from a patients' rights advocacy group and charity based in England!

If you do not believe what they report, then take it up with them; or, tell me where their report is wrong or misleading.

Same for your MPs and MEPs, and the other British press whose reports have been cited on ATS.

Would you rather that they said nothing just because you feel otherwise?

deny ignorance


[edit on 28-8-2009 by jdub297]

posted on Aug, 28 2009 @ 02:21 PM
Again, information is being taken and twisting it to suit someoen's purpose.

As someone who receives pain management, it is about impossible to get pain medications in the US. I had to suffer for 7 years before finally being treated.

AND, the steroids are causing major issues. People are frequently having reactions to it. Steroids are a dangerous medication. When I get the injection, I get a reaction for about four months.

It induces cushings syndrome, which is a very serious disorder that affects blood pressure, heart rhythem, causes obesity, insomnia, messes with a female cycle, along with a host of other symptoms.

posted on Aug, 28 2009 @ 02:49 PM
reply to post by nixie_nox

I can vouch for everything you've experienced as I have two close relatives facing the same health/pain issues. Luckily, they have a strong voice in what direction their care proceeds, and have thus avoided much of the problems that arise when someone else makes, or tries to make, their care choices for them.

I believe, and will always believe that people who take control of THEIR OWN healthcare, do far better than those trusting others to make those decisions for them!


And good luck. Stand up for your right to manage your own body.


[edit on 28-8-2009 by jdub297]

posted on Aug, 28 2009 @ 02:54 PM
reply to post by dizzylizzy

The NHS is not perfect, but and it is a big but, nobody is turned away there is not millions without adequate health care.

That is patently untrue. NICE should be disbanded. They have the very same ethos as do Emanuel and Holder? Decisions are based on financial viabilty, age, usefulness to society and not on whether it is of great need to ease the suffering of a lot of people. People are refused drugs all the time. We also find that in one area a drug will be funded and 2 miles away you may die because it is not funded. NICE will take years to make a simple decision about life saving drugs. This makes me so angry. I think they should be strung up, with no painkillers, until they learn that pain is pain, and drugs should be supplied in every case where needed. Otherwise refund all the money we have paid in over the years.
Governments should stop invading other countries...they should stop fiddling money and giving it to other governments for whatever crooked deals they have going...and start looking after the people. There is plenty of damn money if they stopped lining their pockets with it. They need to learn to SERVE and to stop acting like facist thugs.

posted on Aug, 28 2009 @ 06:46 PM
[edit on 28-8-2009 by nixie_nox]

posted on Aug, 28 2009 @ 06:52 PM
reply to post by jdub297

don't even get me started on that whole maddening process that is still going on. Where nothing ever gets taken seriously.

I had bad back issues for years that I was told to just"get more exercise" till my back was in absolute shambles, that I need to get surgery for, before they started doing pain management.

I went to a well known endocrinologist who told me that in recent years, for unexplained reasons, people are reacting to lower and lower doses of prednisone. My own theory is exposure. You have it creams, inhalers for colds or sinusitis, etc. They will shoot you up with steroids but won't give you vicodin.

Since steroids can have wicked effects. I think what the doctors are doing is weighing the effects. If someone has a back problem , but it isn't life threatening, they would rather you just have the pain the give a steroid shot that can have major effects.

It can also throw off your thyroid, and other hormones. And of course the aforementioned problem of exposure. Plus steroids seem to have a double edged sword. IN small amounts they reduce inflammation. But when you have too much, it will erode the joints. And you can't measure what is too much for your body. So you don't want to increase the problem your trying to eliminate.

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