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Weight-Loss Surgery Could Save the NHS Money Says TV Doctor

02/02/2015

Weight-Loss Surgery Could Save the NHS Money Says TV DoctorThe National Health Service (NHS) in the UK is seemingly struggling to cope with the demand for its services. Since the beginning of the year, 14 hospitals in the UK have declared ‘major incidents’ because they are unable to cope with the “unprecedented pressure” being placed upon them this year.

Surgical procedures and outpatient appointments have been cancelled amid the turmoil and some hospitals have even set up makeshift wards to accommodate patients.

But now, one of the UK’s best-loved TV doctors has spoken out about the economic benefits to the NHS of weight loss surgery for obese individuals.

The motivator … Christian Jessen in Weighing Up the Enemy. Photograph: Dave King/Channel 4

Countless studies have shown that being overweight has a significantly detrimental effect on a person’s life, including increased risk of type 2 diabetes, cancer, heart problems and stroke. Furthermore, one in four adults and one in five children in the UK are considered obese – a fact that puts a huge burden on the already struggling NHS.

Obesity-related problems are thought to cost the NHS around £6 billion a year and Dr Christian Jessen – who presents Channel 4’s Weighing Up The Enemy – believes it makes economic sense to offer gastric band and gastric bypass operations to obese individuals.

He said: “It is very clear to me we need to invest more now in this type of procedure in order to save considerable amounts in the future”.

It is thought that within two to three years, bariatric surgery pays for itself and so the argument for it to be undertaken on the NHS or privately carries a lot of weight.
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