If a person requiring A&E care is intoxicated to such an extent that their being drunk is a contributary factor in their requiring emergency treatment, then that person should be made to take responsibility for their actions and face the financial consequences for their actions.

Why is this idea important?

When budgets are being stretched and the government is looking to save costs an already beleagured NHS is once again in the firing line for cost-cutting. Therefore any idea which could alleviate some of the drain on both NHS resources and budgets should be seriously considered.

This is not about the dismantling of the NHS and its ‘care for all’ ethos. It is about being pragmatic and having a realistic attitude to the modern world we live in. We know there has to be a finite budget allocated to the NHS. We know then that this means there is a finite number of people who can be cared for within this budget. Therefore any unnecessary drain on that budget should be identified and curtailed.

A&E care is by definition costly and labour intensive, so having the added pressure of dealing with apparently increasing numbers of patients who require treatment either directly or indirectly due to their being intoxicated is a serious cause for concern.

We should therefore make in known that we as a community are longer willing to subsidise people who through their own lack of self control with regards to alcohol, find themselves needing medical treatment. They should be made to take responsibility for their own actions so that the financial burden for their treatment comes not out of the public purse but out of their own pocket. Maybe then they will exhibit more self control next time and maybe then there will be more money available for treating people with more serious conditions.

13 Replies to “Charge for A&E care if a person is intoxicated.”

  1. I support this idea. I have written to my MP, Jeremy Hunt who is Minister of Health, who dismissed it.

    The proposition is well argued and i need say no more.

  2. What a great idea. As the NHS is suffering cuts, this would be a bonus. There are far more serious cases the NHS needs to deal with, without the need for drunken idiots clogging up the system. Also consider those people who come in to be treated by NHS staff, doctors, nurses and ambulance personnel and are abusive to them either way to pay up as well.

  3. What a ridiculous idea – unless of course you’re also saying that we should be charging people who get diabetes because they’ve been fat and not exercised for YEARS or people with lung cancer because they’ve smoked for 20+ years?

    Heck, whilst we’re at it, why not make couples pay for deliveries of their children and all their check-ups? After all, in this day and age of contraception it’s all their own fault and their own choice for deciding to have a baby?!

    1. It’s okay to discriminate against alcohol users, because the general public is so upstanding.

      Let’s forget other types of drug users, though. No heroin overdoses will be penalised.

      What about intentional overdoses? Charge them, too, because they are being ‘selfish’.

      No, we only want to penalise the conditions that are hip today, because those drunken bast*rds are the worst of the worst.

  4. Now here is a good idea. A visit by any self respecting person who has need of Emergency Care at A&E has to join a que of drunks. Not only are they abusive to staff but to their own bodies with drink, drugs and platform shoe strained ankles. I would estimate at least one third are like that in any A&E of any evening in most parts of the urban country.

  5. What about where you are out for a meal (or indeed more than a few drinks) with friends and someone hits you unprovoked?
    Although it wasn’t your fault, you would be denied “free” healthcare as you were only in that position because you were out socialising, thus making it a contributory factor.
    By extension, all emergency healthcare could become paid for as whatever you were doing at the time of incident could be called a contributory factor.

  6. As the NHS is unwilling to enforce present requirements of checking eligibility for treatment, before treating, and recovering costs from overseas patients do you honestly believe it would even try and enforce such a policy? This is the same road Tony Blair went down with police meant to march drunks to cash machines to pay on-the-spot fines – just not doable.

  7. It is a question of Priority – Those that have taken excessive non prescription drugs or are over intoxicated should have less priority than those more responsible members of the public in the event of services being overburdened.

  8. In that case, lets charge sportspeople at the same time, as any A&E department is over run with sports injuries at the weekend. Its their own fault. They knew what could happen.

    Running a marathon and had a heart attack? Cheque please, before the doctor will see you.
    What? You’ve raised thousands for charity of the back of it?

    Running a boxing club for youth in an urban area to keep kids off the streets in the evening? Pulled a muscle training. Where’s your cash point card, you do gooder…

  9. I think I prefer the idea that alcohol is more heavily taxed and that that (a proportion of that) tax is (somehow) ring-fenced to contribute specifically to the health costs associated with excessive consumption. If alcohol is less affordable then there should be a consequent reduction in demand.

  10. Absolutely ridiculous idea…the proposer has no idea of the economics involved …let us start
    10.7 BILLION raised in alcohol tax year 2018
    NHS estimates cost of 3.5 BILLION

    I make that a “profit” of 7.2 Billion pounds solely from the tax on alcohol for doing what exactly ? and more importantly what has that 7.2 billion been used for ?

    As someone else said why stop at drinkers lets go the whole hog and charge and discriminate against a wider section of society and if it can be proven that you in any contributed to your illness/sickness/disease etc you will be charged

    It is a popular story in the press, more sensasionalist bollix (as evidenced by the mickey mouse figures and ‘new study finds’ stories regularly spat out ) but mention increased taxation of alcohol and then all of a sudden things turn arse about face.These people have already paid tax on the alcohol and now the proposer intends taxing them again…more you drink the more tax you pay and by default the greater contribution you have made….they have already paid for their treatment

    I’m teetotal by the way but people making glib suggestions like this make my pish boil

  11. Or just let the Modern Matrons sort the drunks out.
    Me and one of my daughter’s were attending the A+E Department when two men came in, both drunk but one had a cut to his head. The injured one was lying on a trolley and on three occasions made sexual remarks to the young nurse attending him. The first and second time it happened the Matron came over and asked him to stop, tried to explain to him his behaviour was unacceptable and he stopped. After the third time she brought a bucket over, placed it under the edge of bed, withdrew the nursing staff and told him the bucket will stay there to catch the blood and when he’s passed out they’ll be back to treat him. Needless to say less than ten minutes passed and he was flat out, the nursing staff treated him and he went on his way with his mate some time later.
    If only all Matrons had the nerve to do what this one did and the backing of the staff then maybe the NHS would be a better place.

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