Operations previously seen as routine are now being rationed by the cash-strapped NHS, campaigners say.
Cataract surgery is restricted by over half England’s Clinical Commissioning Groups – 104 of the total 195 CCGs.
Some patients in 95 CCGs are denied hernia ops, and access to knee and hip replacements is limited in 78 groups, a Medical Technology Group probe found.
Proven treatments are being reclassified as of “limited clinical value”. The Royal College of Surgeons said: “We need an unambiguous message from Government that restricting such treatment is wrong.”
NHS Clinical Commissioners, the independent membership organisation for CCGs, said: “On a daily basis CCGs are forced to make difficult decisions that balance the needs of the individual against those of their entire local population.
“Some tough choices have to be made.”