Fat people have been banned from having NHS operations in a county unless they diet – and smokers are being spurned unless they quit.
The blitz in Devon – described as temporary while hospitals there battle to save £14.5million – was last night slammed by patient’s groups.
Other cost-cutting includes rationing hip, shoulder and eye surgery – and only providing one hearing aid instead of two. Local health officials said obese people were being targeted because they were prone to complications from surgery – making it more expensive. Those with a body mass index of 35 will have to shed 5 per cent to get their ops.
Smokers can only get routine surgery after two months without cigarettes.
Life saving operations are not affected. But Healthwatch warned: “This is a slippery slope. The NHS in Devon is giving the impression it is restricting treatment to patients who have contributed to their own ill health.”