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Smokers Warned to Give up else Face Denial of Operations

Smokers will be denied life-changing operations unless they agree to kick the habit, it was revealed today. Many cash-strapped hospitals say that they will not treat patients for hip and knee replacements// until they are going to give up on smoking. Those who do not stop the habit could also be denied treatment.

Smokers are at a big risk of complications and this move might help save some money for further care. Some critics have accused the trusts of putting the finances in front of the health of the patients and have warned that this could lead to some surgeons breaking the Oath.

This move which is to be implements in the Norfolk Primary Care Trust will affect the patients. The trust is £50 million in the red and is presently providing healthcare services to the residents of Norwich and surroundings. Newcastle-Under-Lyme PCT which is £1.4 million in debt, has also taken a similar decision.

Last year, it was the turn of obese patients to reduce their weight if they had to be treated in east Suffolk The urgent operations are not covered by these policies.

The treatment for smokers were more expensive and they have longer stay in the hospitals for recovery hence this move was taken Also they are at increased risk of complications By quitting the habit the cost of hospital care is reduced. A simple saliva test can prove if the person is a smoker.

Dr John Battersby, the trust's director of public health, said 'The situation across Norfolk is that one in four people smokes and that is the same for the proportion of people coming through for surgery. There is increasing evidence that smokers have three times the number of complications as non-smokers. What we are proposing is that if someone who smokes is being referred for surgery, we would instead want them to be referred to a smoking cessation clinic and give them three months to stop smoking.'

'What we are doing is asking people to have a stab at g
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