A client who was left in "severe pain" and was unable to walk, had to take £ 11,500 in loans to pay for an operation after the NHS in York refused to treat him.
Roland Crooke, 67, needed a hip replacement and took morphine to cope with the pain. But under the controversial surgical guidelines of Vale of York CCG, introduced in February 2017, he was told that he could not get the surgery.
According to the guidelines, anyone with a body mass index should lose weight over 30 years or wait a year for non-emergency procedures. The policy has saved the CCG £ 2.2 million in the past 12 months.
Mr. Crooke, who has lost 5.5 stones since 2013, said that because of the pain he was unable to lose weight by exercising and that he had to pay for the operation himself.
At a council meeting, he said, "This is clearly a rationing measure, dressed in clinical clothing, that causes hundreds of patients to suffer longer.
"It discriminates against people who are overweight and probably the less active elderly."
He said that he was only told that he could not get the surgery on an appointment to prepare him for an operation.
"By that time I had severe pain," he added. "I could only walk short distances, my wife had just been diagnosed with breast cancer, and the CCG policy meant that the hospital ignored all of this.
"This is a money-saving exercise – it's so unfair – if I lived in Harrogate, this would not apply."
Dr. Nigel Wells, clinical president of Vale of York CCG, thanked Mr. Crooke, who lives with Easingwold, for sharing his story. He admitted that the policy is not ideal, but that the organization faces financial challenges and has to make difficult decisions.
He said: "This city, this CCG and this local government have to make difficult decisions about where the health expenditure takes place.The biggest risk in the CCN of the Vale of York is the mental health of children and the access to services.
"I know that this policy was not good for our relationships with patients or for our relationships with clinicians and in an ideal world this would not be the way you would do it.Pharmacies have an integral role in this and it is an extra burden for them. "
But he said that many patients were able to avoid the need for surgery because they made lifestyle changes because of the policy. He said that anyone who needs surgery should get one, but emphasizes that surgery is not always the answer and it has risks.
He added that it is important to encourage patients to follow a healthy lifestyle.
Cllr Chris Cullwick Liberal Democrats, Huntington and New Earswick said that the experiences of Mr. Crooke & # 39; Worrying & # 39; goods. He added: "We all understand the context and why the management of demand was necessary, and it illustrates clearly how there is a real danger of exacerbating health inequities – not everyone can afford private health care."