The NHS in the UK is planning to cut treatments to save £20bn ($28.8bn) by 2014.

As part of NHS plans, health trusts are targeting treatments such as hernias, joint replacements, ear and nose procedures, varicose veins and cataract surgery.

Primary care trusts are beginning to list ‘low value’ operations such as hip replacements for obese patients and some operations for hernias and gallstones that would no longer be provided.

Procedures for varicose veins, ear and nose problems, including grommets in children, may also have their funding cut, according to the Daily Mail.

British Medical Association consultants committee chairman Dr Mark Porter said that although the government has pledged to defend spending, trusts are preparing for a period of “unprecedented retrenchment” to meet targets and NHS commissioners are drawing up lists of health interventions that must be cut.

“In the quest for wholesale reductions in budgets, lists of banned treatments are being compiled. This is wrong,” Porter said.

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