'No more boob jobs on the NHS': Breast enlargements, tummy tucks and nose jobs won't be available, says Jeremy Hunt

The average health authority in England carried out 10 operations of this kind in 2012

Cosmetic surgery such as breast enlargements, nose jobs and tummy tucks should no longer be made available on the NHS, Jeremy Hunt has said.

The Health Secretary insisted that he was against “purely cosmetic work” being carried out for free by the health service. “We should not be doing cosmetic work on the NHS,” he said. “The decisions are taken on the basis of clinical need, but I have made it very clear that I am against purely cosmetic work.”

Official figures released at the start of the year revealed that nearly 8,000 people have had “tummy tucks” on the NHS in the past six years, at an estimated cost to the taxpayer of over £50 million. According to the figures, released in a parliamentary answer, the number of tummy tucks carried out on the NHS rose by 6 per cent in 2012 to 1,051. Over the past six years, a total of 7,939 operations have been carried out.

The highest number of operations was in Darlington, Co Durham, where 58 patients had tummy tucks in 2012. It was followed by south Birmingham, where 52 people had the surgery on the NHS, followed by Camden, north London, where 44 people underwent procedures. The average health authority in England carried out 10 operations.

On Tuesday Mr Hunt said any cases of state-sponsored cosmetic surgery should be few and far between. “There will be times when there is a mental health need, which the local doctor has said is very serious,” he said. “But I do completely understand people's reservations about some of the things that happen.”

Speaking during a lunch in Westminster, Mr Hunt also unveiled new financial incentives used to encourage NHS trusts to report treatment of EU nationals, as part of a drive to recoup up to £500 million a year from overseas patients.

Mr Hunt said that the move would “more than pay for itself” because the NHS is able to reclaim the cost of treatment from other member states under long-standing reciprocal arrangements known as EHIC (the European Health Insurance Card).

At present, the UK pays other EU countries more than £800 million a year to cover the cost of Britons receiving health care on holidays and other visits abroad, but receives back only £29 million for European nationals treated  in the UK. 

The new measures would see trusts offered a premium of 25 per cent on top of the tariff which they receive for providing treatment if they report that it was given to a citizen of one of the 27 other EU member states.

When patients from outside Europe are included, the NHS takes in only £73 million of the £500 million a year which is believed to be due - around 16 per cent of the total, he said.

Travel
travel
News
Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014
peopleTim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
News
Jamie and Emily Pharro discovering their friend's prank
video
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift crawls through the legs of twerking dancers in her 'Shake It Off' music video
musicEarl Sweatshirt thinks so
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Arts and Entertainment
Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan in What If
filmReview: Actor swaps Harry Potter for Cary Grant in What If
News
Our resilience to stress is to a large extent determined by our genes
science
Travel
travel
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Sport
sportBesiktas 0 Arsenal 0: Champions League qualifying first-leg match ends in stalemate in Istanbul
News
Pornography is more accessible - and harder to avoid - than ever
news... but they still admit watching it
Arts and Entertainment
The eyes have it: Kate Bush
musicKate Bush asks fans not to take photos at London gigs
News
i100
Extras
indybest
Sport
Manchester United are believed to have made a £15m bid for Marcos Rojo
sportWinger Nani returns to Lisbon for a season-long loan as part of deal
News
news
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Marketing & Commnunications Executive, London

    £30000 - £34000 per annum: Charter Selection: This highly successful organisat...

    C# .NET Developer (ASP.NET, JavaScript HTML, CSS) Finance

    £60000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# .NET Develo...

    MI Analyst-Reporting-Bank-Edinburgh-£260/day

    £230 - £260 per day + competitive: Orgtel: MI Analyst-Reporting-Bank-Edinburgh...

    Junior Database developer (SQL, T-SQL, Excel, SSRS, Crystal rep

    £25000 - £30000 per annum + bonus+benefits+package: Harrington Starr: Junior D...

    Day In a Page

    Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

    A descent into madness in America's heartlands

    David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
    BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

    BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

    Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
    Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

    Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

    Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
    Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

    Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

    But could his predictions of war do the same?
    Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

    'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

    Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
    Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

    Young at hort

    Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
    Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

    Beyond a joke

    Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
    The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

    The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

    Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
    Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

    A wild night out

    Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
    Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

    Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

    It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
    Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

    Besiktas vs Arsenal

    Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
    Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

    Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

    As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
    Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

    Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

    The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
    Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

    Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

    But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
    Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

    Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

    Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment