Interior. GP’s Office. 9th June 2017.
A smart-suited man in his twenties is seated at the desk. Enter patient, a woman in her forties.
Patient: Hello, doctor.
Man: Ah, I’m not a doctor.
Patient: Oh. I booked an appointment with a doctor…
Man: New system. Starting today. Don’t worry. I’ll send you on to a doctor if I assess that you’re eligible.
Man: Yes. I’m employed by Trumpcare UK to assess all customers and ensure they are eligible for NHS care, depending on my assessment of their needs.
Patient: But I need to see a doctor.
Man: And you will, if you’re eligible according to my assessment. May I point out that we have already wasted almost two of our alloted five minutes. Shall we get started?
Patient: Are you qualified to assess me?
Man: Of course I am. I’ve been on the Trumpcare training day and I have a detailed list of questions to ask you. First up, why are you here?
Patient: Um. I feel a little uncomfortable discussing this with you, seeing as you’re not a doctor.
Man: Right. We are seriously losing time here and if we don’t get through the questions the only person missing out will be you. Why are you here?
Patient: I have a lump in my breast.
Man: Right. Let me just find the questionnaire for Breast Lumps…[forty-three seconds of fumbling ensue] Ah, here we are. Breast Lumps. Ok. Question one. Do you smoke?
Man: Have you ever smoked?
Patient: Erm…well, yes. Years ago.
Man: But you never smoke now?
Man: Not even a crafty one on a boozy night out with the girls?
Man: How long did you smoke for?
Patient: I don’t know. Maybe ten years.
Man: Ouch. And how many a day?
Patient: I can’t remember. Look, I’m worried about this lump. It’s been there for a few weeks now and-
Man: Ah. So you’ve voluntarily delayed seeking treatment?
Patient: What? No, I just-
Man: And do you drink?
Patient: What on earth has that got to do with-
Man: We have just two minutes left. Please answer the question. Do you drink?
Patient: [getting a bit tearful] Well yes, the odd glass of wine…
Man: Every day?
Patient: Well, most days I suppose.
Man: Thought so. And diet. You’re clearly overweight. How much overweight are you?
Patient: Oh GOD. I have no idea. That is just so…utterly…
Man: I’ll guess four stone. Right. And do you have children?
Patient: Yes. Three.
Man: How old were you when you had them?
Patient: Well…I was…I was thirty-four when I had my first and thirty-
Man: You can stop there. All I need to know is that you delayed having children until after the age of thirty. Why did you delay?
Man: Why did you delay having children?
Patient: I hadn’t met the right guy…
Man: A typical story. And did you breastfeed?
Patient: Well I tried with the first but it didn’t really work so I-
Man: Please answer the question. Did you breastfeed?
Man: Right. That’s the assessment done. According to my assessment, you are not eligible to seek NHS medical advice today.
Patient: [properly crying now] But I –
Man: Your lifestyle choices of smoking, drinking and being overweight, along with your delaying childbirth until after thirty and then not breastfeeding, all substantially increase your risk of breast cancer.
Patient: Cancer? But-
Man: Which, coupled with your delay in seeking advice, mean that you do not qualify for NHS care today.
Patient: But…I pay my taxes.
Man: So you should be glad we’re no longer wasting your money treating people with potentially self-inflicted diseases. The NHS is no longer obliged to pick up the pieces of your poor lifestyle choices. Healthcare is a privilege, not a right.
Patient: But I…you think I’ve got cancer.
Man: Indeed I do. And you need to see a consultant urgently. Here is a list of consultants in your area. Most will charge £200 for a first appointment. Thank you for visiting Trumpcare UK. We hope you have a good day.
Aaaaah the relief of waking up to realise this was just a nightmare! I must have also dreamed that Treeza et al have just proposed to penalise carers and the elderly by introducing a dementia tax! As if! And means-testing for the fuel allowance? Everyone knows it should be an opt-out scheme, not an opt-in because that’s just ten thousand forms designed to put the most vulnerable people off, the kinda people who will feel awful for needing it in the first place. I mean, when politicians are claiming such huge personal expenses, they couldn’t possibly suggest such an unfair system!
And thank GOD I obviously also dreamed they just sent my severely disabled cousin another ten thousand pages of forms for her to fill in regarding her disabilities, forms which she filled in only two months ago and must now fill in again within a week because they need to keep making sure she is still really bed-ridden and in constant pain! Imagine!
Cousin: Er. That wasn’t a dream cuz.
Cousin: Yeah. I have to do all that again.
Me: But why?
Cousin: Because I am a burden, Annagram. They won’t send a nurse round to provide me with intimate care until I prove, again, that I really am mostly paralysed.
Me: I don’t believe it.
Cousin: Thought you were meant to be clever cuz. Don’t you read the Daily Mail? Has Katie Hopkins taught you NOTHING?
WAKE ME UP WAKE ME UP WAKE ME UP WAKE ME UP FOR GOD’S SAKE SOMEONE WAKE ME UP…