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Limerickman’s plea to save gastric band operations

Michael McGovern, from west Limerick, shows the difference the gastric sleeve made to his waistline

Michael McGovern, from west Limerick, shows the difference the gastric sleeve made to his waistline

  • by Anne Sheridan
 

A LIMERICKMAN who lost 9 stone with the help of a gastric band is appealing to the Minister for Health to reverse his decision to axe the service.

Under a directive from the Health Service Executive, St Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin is suspending life saving gastric-band procedures. The suspension of the service leaves 180 patients in limbo, many of whom have been on waiting lists for up to four-years. The procedure, which costs between €12,000 to €15,000, places a small band around the stomach making it smaller and leading to significant weight loss.

Michael McGovern, 44, who had the operation three years ago, weighed 30 stone before the procedure but has since lost 9 stone.

He fears that many morbidly obese people could “lose their lives” without the procedure, which he said helped save his life

Michael has argued that the costly procedure actually saves the taxpayer money in the long-run, as he said his medical bills were dramatically reduced and others are no longer receiving their disability allowance and have returned to work. “Obese people are being discriminated against, and contrary to what some people think having bariatric surgery is not an easy way out. It gives people a second chance of life. This cut is a nonsensical decision,” he said.

 

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