Life Saving Obesity Operations Cancelled To Cut Costs


Obesity expert Dr Donal O'Shea said he is distraught after being informed St Vincent's Hospital in Dublin is suspending life-saving gastric-bypass operations on dangerously obese public patients.
It is one of only two hospitals in the country offering the operation to desperate clinically obese patients who have developed serious health complications and may die without it. According to the Irish Independent it leaves 180 patients, many of whom are on a waiting list for the surgery for up to four years, struggling to cope with their condition after all other weight-loss measures have failed. The only other hospital in the country providing the surgery is University Hospital Galway, but this also has a large waiting list.
"Obesity is the biggest public health issue of the day. This kind of behaviour would not be accepted if heart transplants or cancer treatment were involved. This is just as vital," said Dr O'Shea, an endocrinologist in St Colmcille's and St Vincent's hospitals.
He was informed the axe was coming down on the surgery in an email, which arrived without warning. Dr O'Shea said the surgery ultimately had a major cost-saving. Each surgery costs around €12,000 to €15,000 but  has major benefits by reducing the patient's health complications, which require expensive medication and is preventing them from working.