Health minister Jeremy Hunt has pledged to tackle ‘cheap booze’, by opening high-end cocktail bars in NHS waiting rooms.
“Cheap alcohol is the bane of our accident and emergency services”, said Hunt. “So we’re going to try and upsell patients to the decent stuff.”
With waiting rooms seen as something of a captive audience, Hunt believes a choice of craft lagers and artisan gins could see hospitals finally turn a profit.
“Obviously we can’t serve people who are already inebriated”, admitted Hunt, “but the waiting times are such that most of our guests can sober up at least twice before they see a doctor.”
Many hospitals already sell unhealthy food, in the form of Dominos pizza and Costa coffee cakes and biscuits. Hunt sees a source of a sophisticated skinful as a ‘best mate’ to these services.
“From a narrow health perspective, what we’re doing is probably wrong”, said Hunt. “But that’s why hospital Costas don’t support the customer loyalty card scheme.”
“There’s no point: most of our customers don’t live long enough to benefit.”