X-ray treatment being denied3rd February 2009
The head of the Royal College of Radiologists has said the NHS is denying patients a "life-saving" x-ray service because of its funding system.
The procedure, interventional radiology (IR), is useful in treating a number of conditions, such as treating tumours and stopping haemorrhages after women have given birth.
However, Professor Andy Adam has said a large number of hospitals do not provide patients with an "adequate service" and has called for an investigation into how IR is funded.
"The irony is that this would save money by preventing more costly and complicated surgical interventions being carried out," he explained.
Professor Adam said traditional treatment for fibroids was a hysterectomy, which cost £3,000. However, treatment by IR would cost much less and be easier to carry out.
IR receives its funding from small radiology budgets as opposed to bigger surgical funds - this means that IR in the UK is less available than in other countries.
IR allows an x-ray or ultrasound image to be used to show a doctor where problems are occurring in the body.
"At the moment there is a genuine postcode lottery when it comes to accessing this service - and it could genuinely save lives", Professor Adam said.
"Surgery to stop internal bleeding in someone who has had a major accident is much riskier than using interventional radiology."
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Title: X-ray treatment being denied
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 10037
Date Added: 3rd Feb 2009