ONCE again health sector eggheads seem intent on appearing to have a complete lack of compassion in the way they want to run the NHS.
The latest proposals from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence are heavily jargonised and speak about measuring a set of criteria that seem anything but Nice.
Cancer campaigners have picked up on the deletion covering end-of-life drugs that nationally it is estimated are used by about 12,800 people and are taking it as confirmation such treatments would be cut.
You can actually see how these patients could read these new proposals as being an admission that since they are near the end of their lives, there is little justification for spending the money to keep them going.
But they are worth those treatments because they are people; they are someone’s mother, father, son or daughter; and we as a society don’t just abandon the ailing in their final days.
Nice’s intentions may not be that black and white but bitter experience does not reflect well on it when the dying have had to fight with their last ounces of strength for a life-extending drugs.
And now Clive Stone is pressuring the Prime Minister to honour what he believes was a promise to ensure that drugs were supplied when they were needed, without any caveat or beancounter-imposed criteria trying to measure the “value”.
It is dangerous ground for David Cameron because he will not want to be seen as letting patients down but the health sector is a massive bureaucracy to battle.
However, he needs to be provide the leadership from the top that shows compassion remains at the core of every decision by the health service.