Has the NHS got it very wrong?

Desmo

Distinguished Member
I don't often post in here, but something on the radio this morning just made me think again, does the NHS have it's priorities all wrong? It is, apparently, spending £78M a year on Viagra. Whilst I understand that it is a serious problem for those affected, should the NHS really be funding things like this?

Forget the current financial problems of the country, the NHS have struggled for money for years and have been left with not enough beds, wards, nurses, doctors and so on. Should they somehow try and get back to basics and stop taking on all and sundry and just sort out actual health issues?
 

la gran siete

Distinguished Member
I don't often post in here, but something on the radio this morning just made me think again, does the NHS have it's priorities all wrong? It is, apparently, spending £78M a year on Viagra. Whilst I understand that it is a serious problem for those affected, should the NHS really be funding things like this?

Forget the current financial problems of the country, the NHS have struggled for money for years and have been left with not enough beds, wards, nurses, doctors and so on. Should they somehow try and get back to basics and stop taking on all and sundry and just sort out actual health issues?
well i suppose some might argue that not being able to "fulfill ones duty and rise to the occasion" is a health issue as it can cause considerable distress.Within context of the whole budget, 78 million is probably peanuts anyway
 

sidicks

Banned
la gran siete said:
well i suppose some might argue that not being able to "fulfill ones duty and rise to the occasion" is a health issue as it can cause considerable distress.Within context of the whole budget, 78 million is probably peanuts anyway
The trouble is that there are loads of these similar issues which are 'peanuts' individually, but add up to billions in aggregate.

The NHS needs to focus on 'genuine' health issues rather than trying to support the 'nice to have' issues...

There isn't an unlimited bucket of money, and the line needs to be drawn somewhere!
:)
Sidicks
 

la gran siete

Distinguished Member
£78m per year would probably buy a lot of doctors and nurses.... Probably more important that some old fart can still get his leg over though - remind me again LGS, how old are you? :D
old fart? there are men in their forties and fifties taking it .I dont happen to be one of them and my age is irrelevant.Personally i would let the experts decide on the need for viagra and not let personal prejudice get in the way.
 

la gran siete

Distinguished Member
Bit defensive there...

Hint: The big grin smiley meant I was joking....
ok, apologies:) I should have stuck a smiley myself in my response.BTW when you get to 58 you begin to feel a bit sensitive about your age even though i often call myself an old fart anyway, something my wife can corroborate
 

NewMan

Well-known Member
I always thought "old fart" was one of those endearing terms, I certainly didn't mean to cause any offence by it...
 

icstm

Active Member
anyway can someone remind us what the drug was designed for. This is merely a luckily found, money spinning side-effect, so it might be being prescribed for its orginal reason.
I doubt it, but worth asking
 

Desmo

Distinguished Member
well i suppose some might argue that not being able to "fulfill ones duty and rise to the occasion" is a health issue as it can cause considerable distress.Within context of the whole budget, 78 million is probably peanuts anyway
As I said though, should the NHS get back to basics? Keeping people alive and treating illnesses? If we had more money than we know what to do with then help whoever you can with whatever you can, but we don't. We could have more NHS facilities or maybe even move that spending to other problems with more prisons, police....whatever. Hell, you could even give people the pensions they "deserve" :)
 

dazza74

Novice Member
Well your going to pay one way or the other in the case of Viagra I'd say. I'd imagine not being able to get it up could result in depression, anti-depressants cost about the same as Viagra. Swings and Roundabouts.
 

dazza74

Novice Member
As I said though, should the NHS get back to basics? Keeping people alive and treating illnesses?
But think about it for a second, how would you feel if you looked after yourself, wasn't one of these clowns that end up in A&E because of to much booze on a Saturday, paid your taxes. Wouldn't you feel entitled to get your erection problem sorted on the NHS. Get a little something back for what you pay into the system.
 

oakie

Active Member
Why cant you just buy viagra over the counter in a chemist ?
Surly the money would be better spent on cancer drugs and such.
 

Matt_C

Distinguished Member
So let me get this straight - the NHS are giving away Viagra for free (well, at the tax payers cost) but when I'm sick I have to go to the pharmacy and pay for antibiotics - me, the tax payer that's funding the NHS...?!?!?

How does that make sense?!?!
 
D

dovercat

Guest
New patients can not receive prescription drug treatment for erectile dysfunction on the NHS. They have to get a private prescription and pay. That has been the case for over thirteen years.

Those receiving treatment for erectile dysfunction on 14th September 1998 can continue to do so. To be receiving it then you had to be judged to be suffering from severe distress due to the erectile dysfunction and that dysfunction had to be caused by one of the following conditions, for which you had to be receiving treatment on the NHS.
Diabetes
Kidney failure, receiving dialysis
Kidney transplant
Parkinsons disease
Polio
Prostate cancer
Removal of the prostate
Radical pelvic surgery
Severe pelvic injury
Single gene neurological conditions
Spina bifida

The above people prescribed viagra on the NHS were getting four pills a month. In these economically hard times, that is being reduced to two pills a month.
 
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Desmo

Distinguished Member
But think about it for a second, how would you feel if you looked after yourself, wasn't one of these clowns that end up in A&E because of to much booze on a Saturday, paid your taxes. Wouldn't you feel entitled to get your erection problem sorted on the NHS. Get a little something back for what you pay into the system.
I've no idea what I feel and it's opening up a whole can of worms about A&E and if people have done something daft or injured playing a sport then should they be looked after? That's a whole other thread.

I just think there are a few things available through the NHS that shouldn't be and this is one of them.

So let me get this straight - the NHS are giving away Viagra for free
I have no idea if it's totally free or on a subsidised prescription. Either way though, it's costing a lot of money.
 
D

dovercat

Guest
I just think there are a few things available through the NHS that shouldn't be and this is one of them.
What are the other few things?

If I were to list things the NHS should not be funding the top of my list would be most homeopathic remedies, and the four homeopathic hospitals, London, Bristol, Liverpool and Glasgow.

The NHS states there is no evidence that the homeopathic remedies work, but that it continues to fund the homeopathic remedies on the basis of patient choice

In my opinion patient choice is not enough if tax payers are footing the bill. Any homeopathic remedies that do not have a measurable active ingredient that has been shown to have medical efficacy to the satisfaction of NICE, should not be funded by the NHS in my opinion.

That is all homeopathic remedies that allegedly work using the homeopathic theory of infinite dilution should not be funded, unless they have been proven in double blind clinical trials to work to the satisfaction of NICE.

.
 
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la gran siete

Distinguished Member
I always thought "old fart" was one of those endearing terms, I certainly didn't mean to cause any offence by it...
no worries .:)
 

dalethecaptain

Active Member
I've no idea what I feel and it's opening up a whole can of worms about A&E and if people have done something daft or injured playing a sport then should they be looked after? That's a whole other thread.
I have read somewhere in recent weeks that PCT's have been pursuing Road Traffic Accident victims admitted to A&E through the courts for fees and Ambulance services, which according to some really old law they are entitled to do so. Its my understanding that insurance companies are supposed to foot this bill.

The link to the Scottish legislation is here, I can't find the english one:

NHS Cost Recovery Scheme

And then there are those that have had whiplash claims, who are now being denied NHS treatment for said neck injuries, as the whole point of receiving payouts was to aid recovery and provide access to private therapy, not go on holiday and buy loads of stuff.

So the glorious NHS is not actually free at the point of use, in some cases. I have no doubt you will see much more of this in the next few years.
 

Matt_C

Distinguished Member
The NHS is only free if you don't pay tax.
 

Desmo

Distinguished Member
dovercat said:
What are the other few things?
For me they are things that tend not to be actual medical issues. Breast implants and sex change ops spring to mind. That type of thing isn't necessary in a medical sense of healing a physical wound or curing a disease. I know many will disagree and say that these are still very serious problems for those affected by them and I'd agree, I just don't think it should be the NHS footing the bill. They should be there to keep us healthy and to keep us alive, nothing more.
 

krish

Distinguished Member
The above people prescribed viagra on the NHS were getting four pills a month. In these economically hard times, that is being reduced to two pills a month.
:D

On a serious note I have no issue with that, especially when compared to the overuse of antibiotics (that puts everyone at risk) and Andrew Lansley (lobbied by Prince Charles) allowing the quackery that is homeopathy to be available on the NHS.
 

dalethecaptain

Active Member
And lets not forget that the NHS also frequently carries out blatant manipulation of waiting list and infection figures by sending ever increasing numbers of patients to private care providers.

The best thing about this is that private providers are not subject to FOI requests, so you will never actually know how many people are having treatment cost covered by private hospitals.
 

Citizen J

Novice Member
As I said though, should the NHS get back to basics?
Viagra is a sensitive area and I don't have that problem no am I particularly knowledgably in that area so I can't really add any more.

What I would say is there are other areas the NHS should be looking at. Tattoo removal is available on the NHS. Gastric bands are also available (the argument is it saves the NHS money long-term as it reduces the likelihood of other health related illness I.E diabetes -not sure whether that claim is plausible or not).

Homeopathy should also stop being supported. Sex changes and breast implants should never be permitted under NHS.
 

johntheexpat

Distinguished Member
On a serious note I have no issue with that, especially when compared to the overuse of antibiotics (that puts everyone at risk) and Andrew Lansley (lobbied by Prince Charles) allowing the quackery that is homeopathy to be available on the NHS.
While homeopathy has no scientific basis, I would agree to homepathic remedies being used in those cases when antibiotics are prescribed because the doctor feels the patient should get something. Recently my nephew and a load of his friends (15 in all) went down with a virus that may have been related to mumps or may have been an infection of the salivary glands, or may have been something else. Nephew was told to live with it and take paracetamol, others were given antibiotics and others were awaiting test results. It was undoubtedly a virus, why bother with antibiotics? Not to 'prevent secondary infections' because only a proportion of them recieved them. Its cases like this where I think homeopathy has a role. A quack product will do less harm than badly prescribed antibiotics and may in some cases produce a noticeable placebo effect.
 

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