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New Year drunks should pay for hospital care?


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Excessive drinking over New Year's Eve could cost Britain's National Health Service as much as 23 million pounds, according to a report on Thursday which recommends drunks be charged a hospital admission fee of 532 pounds.


"Alcohol misuse in Britain is at a level where it constitutes a public health epidemic," said the report by the right-leaning Policy Exchange think-tank.


Direct costs to the state-funded NHS, which provides free health care for Britons, are nearly 3 billion a year, with hospital admissions for alcohol intoxication doubling in a decade, it added.


The government should review its entire strategy for tackling the harms from alcohol misuse, it advised.


"We recommend that the costs of being admitted to hospital to sleep off alcoholic excess should be met by individuals, not the NHS," said Henry Featherstone, head of the think-tamk's health unit.


"Those admitted to hospital for less than 24 hours with acute alcohol intoxication should be charged the NHS tariff cost for their admission of 532 pounds."


That amount would be reduced for those paying the costs of their own alcohol education and awareness course.


Department of Health figures confirm that total annual healthcare cost relating to alcohol misuse amounts to about 2.7 billion pounds a year.



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Unless of course they've paid in more than ?532 National Insurance contributions and not had any other treatment this year? Head of a think-tank? Head in a bucket is nearer the mark. Another piece of airy-fairy drivel with no link to reality, from another consultant paid to sit on his fat backside and pontificate.


?532 per drunk. Probably only cost us twice that per drunk to set up the system and chase the money through court. Not to mention the minor legal issue that if someone is so drunk they can't be left alone, then they clearly can't consent to treatment and therefore aren't liable for the costs..... or the issue that many of those treated are in fact minors and not legally liable for anything....


What we need to do is divert money away from think tank consultants and use it to open up closed wards on nights when we know drunks are coming, so the inebriated can be safe and sleep it off without disrupting normal services.

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Where does that figure come from?

Is it the cost of paying salaries for Doctors and Nurses all over the UK who would be working their normal shift anyway????

I don't have a problem with the idiots who go out to get bladdered, but define a drunk? It is a very big grey area..


A better solution would be to treat them, and then lock them up for 3 days and feed them on basics. That way they would suffer 1 at home, 2 at work.

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LP your right about diverting the money-- but would that happen?


Quite often people come up with sweeping ideas and plans without looking at all the angles. I agree Peter - define a drunk!


Course it won't happen. Common sense is in exceedingly short supply amongst anyone who doesn't actually have to implement or live with the consequences of their ideas! :wink:

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Systems that are free at the point of use are often abused, the NHS having to treat mass drunkedness is a classic example.


It would be an interesting research project to find out how much drunks treated by the NHS actually contribute financially to the system..............excluding the taxes they pay on the alcohol they consume....and the jobs in the booze industry that they sustain. :wink:

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Why exclude those contributions Paul?


A tax paid is revenue for HM Treasury regardless of where it comes from.


It might be interesting to see a comparison of the total tax revenues generated by the alcohol producers and licenced trade with the total cost to the NHS and the economy as a whole of all "alcohol related" problems.


I'd suspect that drinkers are in the same boat as motorists, that as a group they pay in to the system far more than the few problem users take out.

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Not all.

I will re-phrase it just for you.

What will they use to determine whether someone is drunk or not, and whether they are abusing the hospital facilities?


If I have two pints and whilst walking home get attacked and require hospital treatment through no fault of my own, will I be classed as a drunk and get charged for the time and treatment?? :?

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use a breathalyser and the limits set out for DUI.


two pints and you could be over the legal limit for driving and so classed as drunk. but not be noticeable in your actions.


Slight difference in driving and walking home.

Too much of a grey area. What stats are used to come up with this idea?

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