Later this month patients in England and Wales will be able to buy a £5 ticket that could bag them the chance of heading the queue for the treatment of their choice. In a bid to create a fairer system, following the recent successful London 2012 tickets lottery, the National Health Service promote a new game where a random postcode is selected.
The lucky winner will then receive the treatment of their choice direct from a selection of guaranteed MRSA-free centres across the country. Andrew Lansley MP, Secretary of State for Health will push the button to start the new Postcode Indicator for Super Health, or PISH, on 16 July after the latest episode of popular medical drama 'Holby City'. Commenting on the new scheme Mr Lansley re-iterated the Government's committment to keeping waiting lists short, "We believe that despite cuts to elective surgery budgets, the new Postcode Lottery will help us fund surgery that people really want." Continuing, he echoed the words of NHS founder Aneurin Bevan, "We now have a moral leadership of the world and can truly claim that no other health service can match that of the United Kingdom."
Unions representing NHS workers are for once behind a Government plan. UNISON leader Dave Prentis explained, "Finally the Government has admitted that the NHS is a Postcode Lottery and we believe that this clarification will make it easier for patients. In addition we will begin a lottery of our own with the chance for our members to win a strike day of their choice, particularly on days where the weather forecast looks good."
Later the Government denied that this new plan was a ploy to raise funds for the cash-strapped health service through yet another 'stealth tax'. Plans to run lotteries for other public services are also alledged to be waiting in the wings including a train lottery, where the winner gets a seat on the 07:20 from Sidcup, and postcode lottery 2 where the winner gets a place in the secondary school of their choice. Tickets will begin at £5 but could include a London weighting and increase by 20% above the rate of inflation each year to fund infrastructure improvements.