A YORK MP has launched a parliamentary bid to end the postcode lottery of unequal NHS care across the country.
Labour MP Hugh Bayley has introduced a bill which - if it became law - would make sure that across the UK patients would get the same quality of treatment, wherever they live.
He said: "The postcode lottery is unfair. It contradicts the founding principles of the NHS. We all pay national insurance and taxes on the same terms, no matter where we live, and we all have a right to NHS treatment on equal terms. Each time the NHS says no to a patient a little more public confidence in the NHS drains away. This has to change, and quickly."
Mr Bayley, who used to work as a health economist at the University of York, said brought the bill into Parliament under the '10 minute rule' on Tuesday, after seeing a huge increase in complaints about treatment being denied by the NHS.
Talking to the House of Commons about his bill, Mr Bayley spoke of York woman Zoe Bounds, who at 36 was refused a double mastectomy to reduce the risk of her breast cancer spreading. Having recovered from ovarian cancer as a teenager Zoe then developed breast cancer and doctors had recommended a mastectomy to stop the disease spreading. On appeal, NHS bosses agreed to fund the surgery, but Mr Bayley said he wants to make stop the situation happening.
Two years ago, Mr Bayley surveyed all the Primary Care Trusts in England to find out how often they refused to pay for treatments.
He added: “The survey revealed enormous variation in NHS provision across the country. Infertile couples in York have no access to assisted conception services, but it remains available free on the NHS elsewhere. Gastric band surgery is generally available to people whose body mass index is 40 or more, but in York you have to be much more overweight, with a BMI over 50, to get this operation. York’s NHS budget is lower per person than in neighbouring health areas, which makes a bad situation worse."