Francis Dean/REX

Weight loss surgery could be offered to diabetics

Fri 11 Jul 2014
By Antony Bushfield

Tens of thousands of Type 2 diabetics in England and Wales could be offered things like gastric bands on the NHS in future.

Health watchdog NICE is recommending obese people with the condition should be considered for bariatric surgery.

It's thought it would help them keep weight off - and possibly even reverse their diabetes.

Professor Mark Baker from NICE said: "There's a considerable saving both from the management of the diabetes and the heart attacks and strokes that diabetes often causes to offset against the one off expenditure on obesity surgery."

Around one tenth of the total NHS budget is spent on diabetic treatment.

Dr Sue Kenneally is a Christian doctor who's on the Welsh National Obesity Forum.

She told Premier's News Hour the NHS is struggling to cope with the problem of diabetes:

Chief executive of Diabetes UK, Baroness Young, thinks surgery is not always the solution.

"We shouldn't immediately rush to bariatric surgery as the cure when in fact there are many low technology proven interventions that are simply not offered to people when they first start gaining weight." She said.

Bariatric surgery can cost the NHS between £3,000 and £15,000 for each patient.

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