Weight loss surgery should be reserved for the few and not handed on a plate to all who overeat, said UKIP Health spokesman Louise Bours.
“Being vastly overweight is a lifestyle choice for many and it is wrong that taxpayers should have to pick up the huge bill for bariatric surgery,” she said today.
Her remarks come in the wake of new NICE guidelines which mean two million obese people in this country will be eligible for this type of surgery.
“Some people have genuine weight problems for whom I have no problem is saying they should have bariatric surgery if they wish. But the vast majority do not and it is wrong that the rest of us should subsidise their over-eating.
“We have a major problem with type two diabetes, largely among the obese and overweight, and that leads to serious financial problems for the health service.
“However I do not believe that surgery is the answer. People need to take responsibility for themselves and they should not expect that they can live irresponsibly and just expect the state to pick up the pieces.
“We also see that happening with binge drinking which leads to hospitalisation and crime and again the key should be personal responsibility.
“This country has an amazing health service but funding it is an increasing problem and if the watchdog’s plan of 15,000 weight loss operations a year comes to fruition it will cost £90 million.
“That is madness and we cannot afford it. People over-eat for a variety of reasons but that can be tackled far more cheaply than surgery, which inevitably carries a risk to life,” said Ms Bours, North West MEP.
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