It isn’t easy getting the NHS to pay for bariatric surgery in the UK. There is often a long waiting list for a surgery that could easily save someone’s life. The UK and the United States have the highest rates of obesity in the world so there is a very definite need but not an unlimited amount of money. The typical gastric band surgery costs £5,000 – £10,000, money some think should be used to fund diet and exercise programs which would help more people at once.
Bariatric surgery funding is made more complex by the prejudices some people have toward obese individuals. When allocating a limited amount of money to fund health care, some people believe priority should be given to individuals with conditions which they themselves did not contribute to causing.
Because bariatric surgery can be so life-changing in terms of health, appearance and self esteem, many people choose to pay for the surgery out of their own pocket. Is it worth £5,000 – £10,000 to get rid of diabetes, live longer, look better and feel better? Yes, definitely. Since there is also a prejudice against obese people in certain professions, the surgery could also increase a person’s professional life. It’s no wonder people are tired of waiting for the NHS and opting to pay for their own surgery.