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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 August 2006, 05:46 GMT 06:46 UK
NHS cosmetic surgery 'set to end'
Plastic surgeon and patient
Patients will have to meet strict clinical criteria
Plastic surgery such as tummy tucks, breast reductions or tattoo removals are soon to be excluded from the NHS.

Three of Northern Ireland's four health boards have already put the plan out for public consultation.

The Northern Board is expected to approve it later on Thursday. At present, many people in need of plastic surgery wait years for treatment.

Patients with cancer, burns or serious injury take priority over those requiring more minor procedures.

Those patients can wait five or six years to reach the top of the queue.

Now the health boards want to change the rules.

In future, to be eligible for a string of procedures on the NHS, patients will have to meet strict clinical criteria.

Public consultation on the plan closes on 26 October and Health Minister Paul Goggins is to announce his decision by the end of the year.


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