Jeremy Hunt Calls For NHS Cosmetic Boob Jobs To Be Banned

He thinks they should only be allowed in the event of someone having a 'clinical need' for them...


by Sophie Wilkinson |
Published on

Just as an American report finds that the NHS offers the best healthcare system in the world, the minister for health, Jeremy Hunt, has said he doesn't want its funds being used to give women free cosmetic breast implants. At present, reconstructive breast enlargements are offered to women who might have had a mastectomy because of cancer, and it's not these Hunt wants to do away with. What he does want to get rid of is a procedure which costs £4,000 and happens in the NHS 'very rarely', where the patient is psychologically or socially affected by their breast size.

'We should not be doing cosmetic work on the NHS,' The Mirror reports him as saying. 'The decisions are taken on the basis of clinical need, but I have made it very clear that I am against purely cosmetic work.'

Yet, according to Eileen Bradbury, a consultant psychologist quoted by the NHS on its website: 'Cosmetic surgery is carried out for psychological and social reasons, not functional reasons. It's important to understand the motivation for wanting surgery, and whether this is something surgery can achieve.'

Hunt, making the comments at a lunch for political journalists at Westminster, continued: 'There will be times when there is a mental health need, which the local doctor has said is very serious. But I do completely understand people’s reservations about some of the things that happen.'

You might say it's a sad indictment of today's society that for all of the NHS's achievements, boob jobs are something that people are looking for. Surely women should be happy and content about being healthy and well looked-after instead of volunteering to go under the knife to get their ideal body?

On the other hand, who are we to dismiss the what-must-be-severe psychological trauma of patients who do get NHS doctors to approve their breast surgery? And, while we're at it, if Jeremy Hunt is so keen to do something to change the fact that women still feel judged and objectified by their breasts – something we're definitely in favour of – couldn't he have started with getting behind the No More Page 3 petition while he was culture minister? Or in other words, someone who very much could have done something about it.

Follow Sophie on Twitter @sophwilkinson

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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