Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Charge of the tight brigade

Insurance companies aren’t noted for their sympathetic approach or philanthropic nature, but even these vultures of the financial world understand that people who are sick or terminally ill with cancer have special needs and deserve a little consideration.

One health insurance provider is now including up to £300’s worth of parking fees in its policies for anyone who has to go to hospital for chemo or radiotherapy.

Hospital parking charges can really impact on cancer sufferers, many of whom routinely have to pay up to £6 a day to park their cars while receiving life-saving or life-prolonging treatment.

As usual in the United Kingdom, cancer patients of the NHS in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland get special concessions for parking but the stupid English must cough up (poor choice of words, I know) for their hospital parking.

The Health Top-Up cash plan from Western Provident Association covers parking costs and incidental expenses incurred by other family members. Insurance being a competitive business, we can expect to see this sort of cover becoming more widespread. But our healthcare is publicly funded, it's part of the reason we pay tax at 20% and an additional 12.8% National Insurance. We pay these things so that we don't need to go out and buy some private insurance to top up the ever decreasing public provision.

Mike Hobday, of Macmillan Cancer Support, said: ‘If insurance companies can recognise the distress and high cost of parking charges to patients why can’t NHS hospitals? ‘

Quite simply, Mike, because they’re run by a bunch of hard-hearted, pencil-pushing imbeciles who are far more concerned with ticking boxes, reaching targets and triggering bonus payments than caring for patients.

Mark my words; the bureaucrats will be be introducing hospital charges for food and medicines before we know it. Pay more, get less... that seems to be the way ahead these days.


  1. You may be right. But not without a fight from Macmillan!

  2. Well done, Mike. I wish you well with your fight and the fabulous work that Macmillan does. More power to you

  3. so glad you are back mr xtm!!

  4. Lovely to hear from you too, Bonnie. In case you're interested, make sure you're in front of the tv on February 7th in the evening. I have a treat for you and all other followers of the blog. Traction Man will be unmasked ;-)

  5. Is it going international or internet?? I'd love to partake of the unveiling :o)

  6. Hey ETM and a Happy New Year to you and yours!

    You are being a real secret squirrel - unmasking of ETM - how will we contain ourselves until the 7th Feb??


    Best wishes from Cats' Mother x

  7. And because no Government has or will ring-fence National Insurance and invest and use it only for the purposes for which it was set up. A no-brainer.

  8. National Insurance is a Ponzi scheme that makes Bernard Madoff's investment fund look like a vicarage tea party.

  9. I've just been reading your last few posts and I'm so annoyed at these idiots who are in control of our health and "well-being". What channel will you be on, on the 7th?

  10. Channel 4 at 8pm. I'll post a reminder closer to the time

  11. Thanks for an ever enjoyable blog.

    I know it is of at a tangent, but I thought you may like this (in the travel letters section of the Sydney Morning Herald):

    "Snow globe confiscated

    We bought a snow globe in London for a friend. It seemed too fragile to pack in the check-in luggage, so we put it in our carry-on.

    We forgot they contain liquid and Heathrow security decided it was just over 100 millilitres and seized it. Who would have thought a tacky souvenir could be a terrorist threat?"

    I recently suffered at the hands of the overzealous Heathrow security. When going through security I forgot about a pen in my top pocket, so the scanner was sent off. Instead of letting me go through again sans the pen I was subjected to a FULL body pat down. What happened to hand held scanners?

  12. We learned our airport attitude at Heathrow from the best... the Americans!

  13. Chris in Melbourne15 January 2011 at 05:05

    Greetings from Oz!
    Apropos the couple of comments on Airport security, it's worth a look for a laugh at www.buckhowdy.com and click on the TSA song on the left of the page.
    Pity we don't get your Channel 4 live, but maybe it will turn up on the ABC or SBS telly out here in due course~ they get quite a few docos and stuff from there.
    We'd love to see it!!!
    Regards to all,
    Chris in rather damp Melbourne.

  14. Hi Chris... It should be available online after transmission. I'll send you the link then

  15. Bril­liant! Great talk that was extremely insightful and very enter­taining. It’s given me loads to think about.