Velashape on the NHS


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Unfortunately, unlike other procedures (and many surgeries), there is no grey area when it comes to Velashape; you will be unable to get it on the NHS. While with many other procedures, because Velashape is not a surgery, there is the possibility that a Primary Care Trust will deem that you can have said procedure on the NHS, this will not happen with Velashape. This is because it is a purely cosmetic surgery; there is no circumstance where there could be a case made that having Velashape could improve your standard of living.

Why can I not have cosmetic/elective surgery on the NHS, and what other forms of surgery are there?

To understand why you cannot have cosmetic surgery on the NHS, you need to be aware that there are two main forms of surgeries that are performed in hospitals; these are elective surgery, and clinical surgery. The main distinction between the two is that elective surgery, as the name suggests, is surgery that you choose to have. This means you choose to have it and that it does not make your life better. Examples include, face lifts through botox and boob jobs. Because these are surgeries that are done simply to make you feel better about yourself they are called elective. The second category is called clinical surgery. This type of surgery is the polar opposite of elective surgery; they are operations that are done either to save someone’s life, or to drastically raise their standard of living. These operations include; chemotherapy and heart transplants. There is, however, a grey area, because certain operations that are technically ‘elective’ can also be classified as ‘clinical’. This is because these surgeries, while they are mainly done simply for cosmetic purposes, can also be done for clinical purposes, for example an Abdominoplasty may be done if it is believed that it will help the patient psychologically, or if they would die without it. While there are many surgeries that fit into this ‘grey area’ category, Velashape, however, is not one of them as there is no circumstance where it could be thought of as clinical surgery.

What is the NHS, and why would I not get funding?

The National Health Service, or NHS for short, is the infrastructure that makes up the public hospitals of the UK. It is free to all tax payers, and as such is used by the majority of the population (though there is the option of going private if you so wish). It is free because when you pay taxes in the UK, a percentage of that money will go towards funding the NHS. The NHS is important because, until 1948, it was harder to get National Health Service. This is because the public structure was not there in its finished state. This, however, meant that those who did not earn enough could not afford to see a doctor if they became ill.

A short history of the NHS

Towards the end of the nineteenth century, changes began to occur to the end that the debate began to occur of the problem of health care for everyone.  The urge for a public sector whose sole purpose was to allow people to be able to afford health care. The first step towards what has become known as the welfare state in England began in 1911 with the 1911 act of parliament. The 1911 act was split into two parts; health and unemployment. The health part (which we are interested in), stated that anyone who earned less than £160 had to give four pence a year (with his employer giving three pence and two pence coming from the general taxation). This was put aside to allow workers to take sick leave and get paid still, and also allowed them to be seen by a doctor. This was a major step forward as never before had any such act been put into place, it allowed for hundreds of thousands of people who before would have had no access to medicine to receive the treatment that they needed. This state of affairs lasted until after the Second World War when the new labour government decided that the medical care should extend to more than just the person who paid the tax; it should extend to the rest of the family. It is interesting to note, though, that this consensus had already been talked about before the war, though nothing had been done due to the outbreak of war. Hence, it was left to the Labour government that had been elected to bring in the act of 1946. It was this act that created the modern NHS. The National Health Service Act of 1946 (which was implemented in 1948) stated that it was the duty of the minister of Health to make sure that everyone had access to health care. As mentioned above, it was this act that created the modern NHS.

Therefore, because the NHS is funded by public money, and it needs to use it in the best way possible, it means that it will only pay for operations that are necessary. These operations come under the category of ‘clinical surgery’ and unfortunately, because Velashape will not raise your standard of life or stop you from dying, it is not possible to get it on the NHS.


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