Britain’s National Health Service shelled out more than £5.7 million on cosmetic surgery procedures, including nose jobs and liposuction. As the UK faces a growing economic crisis, critics question why the government is footing the bill for what some consider frivolous medical costs.
Fat? Broke? No prob, luv. Just pop ’round the local NHS hospital and geh the flab sooked oot!
Sounds funny, but not if you’re a taxpaying citizen on the United Kingdom. The National Health Service (NHS), a government-owned program that provides healthcare for UK citizens, shucked out nearly six million quid – that’s about USD $10 million – on liposuction in 2008. And that’s not to mention the 1,700 nose jobs, tummy tucks and breast reductions that British denizens paid for as well.
Times are hard in the UK these days. The Government is wracked by financial scandal, with elected officials resigning left and right for wasting taxpayer money on porno and other goodies. At the same time, the UK is staring down the barrel of the greatest economic crisis in living memory. As a result, the news that the NHS is handing out free nose jobs has touched off a firestorm of public outrage in the UK.
But not to worry! According to the Government’s Department of Health, every one of these plastic surgery procedures operations were performed for the sake of the patient’s physical or mental health.
Now, we’re not trying to beat up on the NHS. We’re sure that the doctors and other medical professionals who make medical decisions in Britain do so strictly on the basis of a given patient’s medical needs, not their vanity. For example, certain treatments for HIV can cause buildup of fatty deposits under the skin of the neck and upper body. Some of the liposuction procedures were performed to treat this and similar conditions, according to spokespersons for the NHS.
As Congress prepares to enact our own version of national health care here in the U.S., it’s important to examine how such a system can affect those who need plastic surgery – and those who pay for it.