The North and East Cornwall Primary Care Trust (PCT) has revealed that patients who require surgeries which are not urgent will have to wait, as it lacks the funds for non-urgent cases. The Royal Cornwall Hospital's Dr. Alastair Paterson has said that he will not permit himself to be forced to follow the new rules, and that he has never had a waiting list for patients.
He feels that a waiting list system will result in the number of patients piling up, resulting in delayed treatment. The Trust is reportedly in a position to fund critical cases only. The PCT has also given assurances that pending operations are not being cancelled. Only minor surgeries costing between £1,000 and £2,000 are required to be rationed, and surgeries for gallbladders and hernias are not considered as urgent.
Paterson, however insists that the interests of the patients are more important, and refuses to slow down his work. His services are bought by the regional health officials for the NHS. A budget crisis of £ 620 million is being faced by the NHS. North and East Cornwall Primary Care Trust wants the patients to wait for a period of six months for surgeries which are not urgent.