In 2011 198,900 people where admitted to an NHS hospital with alcohol related issues. This is a massive increase from 2003 when the figure was 142,000. From 2010 to 2012 an increase of 11 percent has happened in admissions to hospitals for alcohol causing impact on basic motor functions or alcohol related injuries. These statistics paint a harsh and worrying picture of the growing drink culture in the UK and it’s effect of the NHS. It’s about time the government look at these statistics and make some difficult decisions. The current burden of the NHS is one that cripples the economy despite it being very important. Changes are needed to make it lucrative and non wasteful of funds.
Many people, unfortunately largely students, seem to forget themselves on nights out and spending amounts such as £40 on drink is not an issue for them. Drinking in this country has gone from being a social activity to a sport. Even ‘weekend only’ drinking is a thing of the past with midweek being ever popular for people going out for a heavy night. Part of the problem is drunkenness not actually frowned up now by people it seems to be expected in city living and tolerated.
Leeds in the day is a centre of culture and tourism. It has a fantastic shopping area, good food and defiantly holds the mantle as one of the best cities in England. It changes at night time becoming a centre of debauchery. People flock from miles away to sample the particular flavour of Leeds nightlife, get very drunk and engage in unmentionable activity. Although inevitably people take drinking much too far and hospitalise themselves sometimes from injury.
If we are to deal with this drinking culture then individual people have to take responsibility for their actions. If people are happy to spend £40 on drink then they should pay the same for hospital treatment. I propose if a person is admitted for alcohol or drug abuse then they pay £40 for wasting everyones time, cloging up the hospital and wasting tax payers money. This would ease the burden on the NHS and allow them to spend money on throughly more important issues such as children with cancer. It will also cause the public to think twice before becoming too drunk and grow up a little. Drinking is absolutely fine in moderation. I personally like nothing more that heading to the pub with my friends for a few drinks. I have a line that I very rarely cross. I know how much I can handle and I only ever drink a certain amount so I can look after myself and safely get home. People have to think like this and an NHS reform could help.
The downside to this proposed policy is that people will argue that free healthcare should be universal in all examples. Self inflicted drinking related hospitalisation is an illness, it’s a cliched metaphor but it needs a cure. It certainly is a big change for the government to make although arguably in these times of austerity is is a sane and necersary one.