Lamb: charge “rat-arsed drunks” for A&E treatment

by Stephen Tall on September 10, 2007

Let’s not accuse Norman Lamb, the Lib Dem Shadow Secretary of State for Health, of gently slipping out his latest policy proposal – that patients needing emergency NHS treatment after becoming drunk or incapacitated by drugs would be charged:

“If you get rat-arsed on a Friday night and get taken to A&E where you are foul and abusive to staff, is it right for the taxpayers to fund your life-saving treatment?”

The Guardian reports that, “The proposals are understood to have strong support from Sir Menzies Campbell, the Lib Dem leader.”

Perhaps the more significant aspects of the proposals, though, are contained here:

The paper also included a plan to give people money to buy their own healthcare. Expectant mothers could get direct payments worth hundreds of pounds to buy the services of an independent midwife. People with poor mental health or long-term medical conditions could also be provided with cash for counselling or therapy. … Other proposals included direct election of local health boards and greater integration between health and social services.

There’s further coverage in The Times, and at

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