The Ministry of Defence has spent nearly £80,000 on nose jobs, tattoo removals and man-boob reductions for troops in expensive private healthcare clinics.
The shock bill, which includes tummy tucks and liposuction, has emerged in the MoD’s response to a Freedom of Information request.
It reveals the Ministry spent £19,285 on a tummy tuck, £17,950 to reduce the size of a soldier’s man-boobs and £4,185 on a nose job.
Defence chiefs also picked up the bill for laser treatment to remove a soldier’s tattoo which came to £750, paid £6,163 for another fat-removal operation and spent £3,059 to lift a squaddie’s breasts.
The Ministry of Defence has spent nearly £80,000 on nose jobs, tattoo removals and man-boob reductions for troops in expensive private healthcare clinics
Many of the controversial procedures were part of the Army’s ‘battle of the bulge’ campaign to help obese soldiers shape-up for the front line.
Thousands of troops are failing basic fitness tests and are considered too fat to fight. The most overweight soldiers have had gastric bands fitted and been given fitness gadgets. Soldiers are supposed to have carefully managed fitness routines that require them to undertake physical training sessions of at least four hours a week. But some personnel are not doing enough exercise and are eating the wrong food.
Last night, defence sources insisted most soldiers used the NHS and that these operations were exceptional cases.
The shock bill, which includes tummy tucks and liposuction, has emerged in the MoD’s response to a Freedom of Information request
They added that top brass agreed to fund private care after concerns were raised about the well-being of the soldiers concerned.
In total, the MoD’s bill for private healthcare from January 2015 to August 2018 came to £9,738, 935.
The vast majority – £6,182,861 – went on residential treatment for troops suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and other serious mental health issues.
The next biggest expenditure was commissioning surgical consultations, which cost £2,914,801 while cosmetic surgeries came to £76,153.
It reveals the Ministry spent £19,285 on a tummy tuck, £17,950 to reduce the size of a soldier’s man-boobs and £4,185 on a nose job
Senior officers also agreed to pay for IVF treatment for a soldier costing £15,260 because she was serving in an area where the local NHS Trust denied her access to treatment.
Over the past three-and-a-half years the total number of Service personnel treated in private hospitals or receiving private medical treatment in NHS hospitals was 2,630. Last night, an MoD spokesman said: ‘Secondary healthcare for the Armed Forces is largely provided by the NHS. However, in the event that a local health service is not able to provide a medical procedure that is occupationally necessary, the case will be considered by the MoD and funds may be allocated for treatment.’
In 2014, it was reported that more than 25,000 military personnel had been found to be obese since 2010, and a recent study found that at least 800 members of the Forces serving between 2014 and 2016 had type 2 diabetes. However, MoD bosses continue to insist that being fit and healthy is a ‘condition of service’.