Kevin Barron: The NHS Shouldn’t Neccesarily Be Free at the Point of Need

This story from the Sheffield Star is from February 2008, but hey, there is a lot to catch up on.

Mr Barron has said that those treated by the NHS as a result of excessive alcohol consumption ought to be charged for it; It’s a very New Labour view, but then I suppose one ought to expect that from someone as loyal as Mr Barron has been.

For what it is worth I am glad to see Mr Barron is prepared to re-evaluate the NHS as it would seem that rising life expectancy, increasing costs of treatment and a shift in demographics that means many more people are of retirement age than when the NHS was launched mean that it seems unlikely that we can afford for it to remain free.

There is a weight of evidence that people act rationally, so I suppose that if one had to factor in the potentially high costs of drinking too much it would reduce the incidence of people needing that treatment, so there is a logic and validity to this. I guess though that it would be very hard to administer, a point Mr Barron concedes in the article without any solutions being put forward.

I’m not sure how well this proposal would go down with those enjoying 10p pints in Rotherham though

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