Obese to get free gym sessions

OBESE patients in Suffolk will be given free gym sessions at taxpayers' expense under a new scheme to get them fitter.Suffolk Primary Care Trust is launching the trial in Stowmarket and says it is a pioneering way of tackling weight-related health problems, which cost the NHS millions of pounds a year.

OBESE patients in Suffolk will be given free gym sessions at taxpayers' expense under a new scheme to get them fitter.

Suffolk Primary Care Trust is launching the trial in Stowmarket and says it is a pioneering way of tackling weight-related health problems, which cost the NHS millions of pounds a year.

The move will allow GPs at the Stowmarket Health Centre to refer patients with a Body Mass Index (BMI) over 30 to a personal trainer.

The PCT has committed several thousand pounds to pay for the first 40 patients to see a personal trainer twice weekly for six weeks. Usually it would have cost them about £75 each.


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But Mark Wallace, campaign director with The Taxpayers' Alliance, said: “At a time when Alzheimer's patients and people losing their sight are being denied medication that could help them, it is wrong for the trust to spend so much money on people who have eaten themselves into obesity.

A spokesman for Suffolk PCT said one of the trust's major roles was to improve the health and wellbeing of the population.

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He said: “We will often encourage people to cut their risk of contracting a preventable illness by taking steps such as giving up smoking and losing weight.”

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