The government announced today that the National Health Service is to be wound up and replaced by a voucher system, enabling patients to obtain the medical treatment of their choice.
To apply for a voucher, patients will simply need to dial 999 and instead of asking for 'Ambulance' will ask for 'Lifetime Money-Back Guarantee'. Vouchers will then be awarded according to the severity of the complaint.
For example, a painfully stubbed toe could entitle the caller to a £1 voucher whereas a heart attack would entail a voucher worth up to £4,500. Multiple fractures sustained in a road traffic accident could be worth £30,000, and a case of leukemia could scoop a windfall voucher worth as much as £170,000, depending on the age of the claimant.
Once allocated a Health Rewards Voucher by the emergency services operator, the caller would then be able to use the exclusive voucher number to phone around for discounts on private medical treatment.
As well as the severity of the illness, voucher entitlement will also depend on other factors, such as whether the patient is a UK taxpayer, a parent or carer with dependents, obese, otherwise ugly, or unemployed.
'The scheme offers unprecedented targeting flexibility,' explained a Health Department spokesperson, 'permitting highly efficient allocation of taxpayers' funds and freeing up billions of pounds' worth of public money currently tied up in much-criticised NHS hospitals and ambulance services, all of which can be put to more profitable and more widely beneficial use, such as superbug theme parks and ice-cream vans.'
The initiative is expected to generate up to 2,000 new jobs by the end of next year as the demand for 999 operators increases.
Private enterprise has expressed interest in the scheme, with McDonald's offering a free Coronary Rewards voucher with every Big Mac sold.