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That Wonderful NHS Again - don't fall ill before April please.

Operations cancelled as NHS runs out of money - Britain - Times Online
NHS trusts throughout the country are making sweeping cuts to services and delaying appointments in an attempt to address their debts before the end of March, The Times can reveal....

The cuts are widespread, although there are no central records to provide definitive figures. Among the most comprehensive plans are those from North Yorkshire and York Primary Care Trust, which faces a deficit of £24 million this year.

A letter from its chief executive, Janet Soo-Chung, says that all non-urgent admissions must be approved by an assessment team or they will not be paid for. A&E departments in Harrogate, Scarborough, South Tees and York have been told that they will not be paid for treating patients with minor ailments who could go elsewhere.

No patients will be given a hospital appointment in less than eight weeks, and none admitted for elective surgery unless they have waited a minimum of 12 to 16 weeks. Those treated quicker will not be paid for.

The trust also announced the immediate suspension of treatments for varicose veins, wisdom teeth, X-rays of the back, operations for carpal tunnel syndrome, bunions, arthroscopy of the knee, and grommets for the ear, among others. “We fully appreciate the difficulties that the introduction of these measures entail," Dr Soo-Chung's letter says...

On the delays to appointments and operations, a National NHS spokesman said it was a matter for the local NHS, provided that national targets were not breached. However, the department has not left it all to local managers but has introduced fines for hospitals that operate too fast. These can amount to millions of pounds.

This is mad beyond the madness I can imagine. A system this wrong is beyond reform. The whole stinking pile must come crashing down and central command and control eradicated, the NHS offices razed to the ground, no stone to be left upon another, the sites to be ploughed and strewn with salt....

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Tesco's announce that bread will only sold to customers that have queued for a minimum of 12 weeks. Customers that could shop in Asda should be turned away. No one will be able to buy frozen peas or carrots until further notice.

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