With the National Health Service facing increasing pressure to find ways of meeting budget restrains, a leading Conservative think tank has come up with a radical solution which they believe provides a ready made workforce for the ailing service,
In return for the restoration of EMA, the Educational Maintenance Allowance, they propose that all children will be conscripted to serve in the NHS upon the completion of their GCSE examinations at the age of 16.
Former cabinet minister, John Redwood, extolled the virtues of the scheme. ‘This is a return to traditional Conservative values. We have finally found something useful to occupy 16 year olds. Instead of their postponing the day when they have to seek employment by pursuing spurious studies, we can give them a sound education and get some cheap labour in return. After all, the Nation only needs so many hairdressers and recreational sports managers.’
Under the scheme, which is to be known simply as ‘National (Health) Service’, conscripts can expect to spend their first ten weeks square bashing learning the basics of poor hygiene and excuses. Then they will move onto intermediate training which takes place in the evenings in mean city night spots and mostly involves learning the techniques of dodging drunks and ignoring verbal abuse in readiness for their stint of duty in casualty. Finally they will be let loose on wards, carefully supervised by second year N(H)S squaddies who will, by now, be specialising in consequence free care such as geriatrics and limb amputation where the end result is not considered to be crucial.
Mr Redwood refuted Labour Party claims that the Scheme was tantamount to slave labour. ‘These people need to get a grip on reality,’ he said. ‘The fact of the matter is that it is only a few years ago that we were conscripting our young people to fight against Nazi Germany. So I don’t see that serving in the front line of our Health Service should be such a big deal.’
‘It will be character building and, for the first time in their lives, some of them will get a decent haircut.’