Drunk people should pay for the treatment they receive at accident and emergency units, a patients' group has said.A group populated by vacant pillocks with the foresight of a circus clown waving to the crowd before walking into a door, presumably.
[Margaret Watt, chair of the group,] said drunk people should be charged for using ambulances and for the time of staff who treated them.I'm just trying to imagine the meeting where, having come up with such an empty-headed idea, she looked round the table and asked if anyone could see any potential problems, only to be met with furious head-shaking and heroic ignorance. Anyone with something between their ears more substantial than silly putty, of course, would have been throwing their hand in the air and shouting "ooh, ooh, Miss!" (or Ms, it would seem) at this point.
She said that the money generated from such a scheme should then be invested in increasing NHS staff numbers.
Let's start with the obvious one. What happens if someone is injured badly and decides to tough it out instead of getting this newly-chargeable treatment? Alcohol is well known to impair judgement and to increase a sense of invincibility, after all (though admittedly such a concept is likely alien to these stupid purse-lipped crones). Is a bit of time spent treating a patient - who may well have already paid plenty into the system by way of taxation - preferable to, say, their dropping dead from subsequent haemorrhaging?
Too far-fetched? Oh I don't think so, chummies. I'd give it a month before we hear of the first fatality.
Charging for the ambulance is a great idea (sarky alert), but the same scenario applies. If the patient knows that there will be a bill at the end of A&E treatment, many will refuse. What's the answer to protect them if the paramedic suspects their injury to be serious? Are they to be forced to hospital against their will? I believe there's a law against extortion and 'extracting money with menaces', isn't there? That's some pretty important primary legislation to be drafted to avoid the NHS being dragged to court even more than they are already.
This is without asking how drunk is drunk enough to be charged? There really isn't any definition except the one currently used to define too drunk to drive, and I truly believe that a public sector which is itself intoxicated on other people's money will find such a level extremely attractive for this purpose.
"Sorry Mrs Prunehat, you've had three sherries, so we'll be charging you £261 for accidentally falling down your staircase tonight. You can pay in instalments out of your weekly pension, OK?"
And, naturally, once this precedent is set the same will inexorably follow for the overweight, smokers, drivers in 31mph+ accidents, and everyone else Ms Watt and her dozy ilk disapprove of.
Still, the private sector will naturally step in and we will see a new market in insurances for any such event. In fact, the more choosy the NHS becomes as to which behaviours they are willing to treat out of the huge extorted funds they currently enjoy, the bigger the insurance industry will get. And the more who feel obliged to pay insurance premiums for NHS care, the louder the call will be for a refund of NI contributions which were paid over their lifetime, in good faith, on the promise of healthcare which is "free at the point of delivery".
Oh my! Are we talking about a system of healthcare where those who are financially able will take out insurance for potential health mishaps, whereby those who are less well off suffer the consequences? I think we are, you know.
What a fucking great idea, Ms Watt. You're in effect advocating moving towards a slow break up of the NHS in favour of personal responsibility and insurance-based treatment.