The health service should not be left to pick up the pieces from gambling firms’ tactics to retain customers with addiction issues, the NHS’s mental health chief has said.

But that’s what the NHS is for, innit? To provide the health care the population needs without discrimination?

34 thoughts on “Eh?”

  1. This is great

    So the NHS will not need to treat tattoos, provide plastic surgery, treat workplace accidents, any sporting injuries, anything caused by motoring or other forms of transport…….

  2. OT, but Tim did you know this site is not having its new posts updated on blog feeds on other blogs? It seems to have lost the feed about a week ago, after your ‘Facts, So Patriarchal’ post.

  3. This is how the NHS is now working.

    It has been rationing treatment to smokers, and talking about withdrawing treatment from the ‘obese’. It’s part of the ‘nudge’ concept – you know, the one the Chinese are doing so well at.

    Basically, if you are good little boys and girls according to the latest social theories, you get to use the services you pay for. If you deviate, you have then removed. If you deviate too much, you do not survive….

  4. I know we don’t have hypothecation, but gIven that gamblers as a group, like smokers, pay massively more in taxes than they cost Govt overall, I take it this idiot savant would be prepared on the same principle to accept a corresponding massive cut to his funding.

    Free at the point of use, for all (including health tourists), but not for those who engage in lifestyle aspects of which the prodnoses disapprove

  5. (i) It would be wonderful to cure mental health problems which cause huge amounts of human pain.

    (ii) I’m sceptical about how effective much treatment is.

    So God knows how to decide on a budget for the poor loonies. Presumably you should start with a critical inspection of the evidence for treatment doing any good.

  6. “ It’s not like there’s a harm-reduction substitute like methadone or nicotine treatments”

    In the days before online gambling was a thing, there used to be a substitute for gambling in bookies’ shops. It was called Argos. You went in, wrote down what you wanted on a slip of paper with a little pencil, handed it over and waited for the numbers to show the results. At Argos, you ‘won’ every time. If you wanted a cheap toaster or something that is…

  7. Just as I’ve never understood one-armed bandits, I’ve never understood Argos. Do I need treatment on the NHS?

  8. The really annoying thing is that even if these cretins calling themselves doctors managed to persuade everyone to be healthy, we would still end up paying for NHS England and assorted leeches

  9. According to David Nutt (former govt health advisor) when in the pub you should buy a pint and 3 straws so that 3 of you should share a pint.because he reckons alcohol causes more harm than heroin and crack cocaine. I’ll try that with my mates this saturday and see what happens .

  10. What dearieme says. There appears to be unlimited demand for talking therapies, with little evidence of its effectiveness. On a cost/benefit analysis, NICE should probably reject it.

  11. moqifen,

    Those had better not be plastic straws! They’ll be banned this April. You can still enjoy your pint in a plastic cup though.

  12. A couple of good friends lost their positions and their families to gambling. Both are plonkers and would probably benefit from some form of intervention and support. The other ninety eight I know manage to handle their passion well enough. And as we’re collectively already paying more than enough tax to fund our share of the NHS it seems unfair we’re asked to pay an additional surcharge in the form of some sort of betting tax.

  13. Tom is fond of reminding us of Smith’s dictum that all jobs pay the same, when all is said and done. Smith of course was a moral philosopher. And it occurs to me to wonder whether, when all is said and done, all people are the same.

    For instance, had I not been born with foetal alcohol sydrome and with a depressing heritable paucity of grey matter, might I not have been Jeff Bezos?

    I only aks*

    * ax? axe? acks? acs?

  14. “, had I not been born with foetal alcohol sydrome and with a depressing heritable paucity of grey matter, ”

    There’s always a career in Law..

  15. The ANZ Bank won’t let you pay for gambling with a credit card if you’re credit card balance is more than 85% of your credit limit. This is supposedly to make sure you don’t starve the kids. There is an obvious floor right there as limits might vary from $5000 to $50000 or more. I don’t gamble other than buy the occasional lottery ticket (it’s our only retirement plan), but I was prevented from buying a lottery ticket despite the fact that another account had in excess of $100k in it (share sale to fund house renovations).

    I emailed the CEO of ANZ, Shayne Elliot, to object and he basically told me, as a 17 year loyal customer with numerous personal and business accounts, to eff off and bank elsewhere. He also claimed that for every non-problem gambler there are numerous problem gamblers when, of course, it is the other way around. For problem gamblers in casinos and pubs, there is nothing stopping them going to an ATM and drawing cash so the whole thing is sanctimonious virtue signalling.

  16. Doc

    Realise it’s Down Under where the common considerations are somewhat relaxed but, even so, why the fvck would you bank with any organisation whose CEO is called Shayne FFS?

  17. Bloke in North Dorset

    Those with a propensity for addiction will usually find something to get addicted so I don’t see how this helps, unless the NHS is going to stop treating all addictions.

    And if he follows through with it what they save on the swings they’ll likely lose on the roundabouts, with interest. Nobody can seriously think that the families of the addicted gamblers will just be left to fend for themselves, the social services will eventually be called in to help out when kids are involved and they’ll need housing and the rest of the support networks required to keep them safe*.

    (*Yes, I know the State is shit at that as well, but they’ll still be spending money.)

  18. Gambling never appealed to me; unless shares & premium bonds count

    Been to a casino a few times (cheap meals); roulette: placed bets on two out of three and stopped when I was ahead, always a winner


    Re Argos

    Hands up everyone who has used Argos as a ‘hire shop’

  19. The health service should not be left to pick up the pieces from gambling firms’ tactics to retain customers with addiction issues,

    They should, however, be there to pick up the tab for your late-term abortion and your gender re-assignment surgery.

    Because, see, gambling addiction is political, and abortions and transgender issues are human rights /sarc

  20. The NHS also picks up the bill for over paid Doctors to work part time and earn more privately.

    And have too few Medical school places to keep Labour costs high at the insistence of the British Medical Association…. So Fuck Off, Doctor!

  21. The problem with CBT and DBT is that you have to want to make changes, if you do then as a set of tools it’s useful.
    Isn’t that the case with all addicts though, lead a horse to water etc.

  22. @Richard

    ConTel Blocked

    Your access to this site has been limited

    Your access to this service has been temporarily limited. Please try again in a few minutes. (HTTP response code 503)

    Reason: Exceeded the maximum number of requests per minute for crawlers.

    If you are a WordPress…

    Over 1 hour now. Fix it please

  23. Bloke in Costa Rica

    Gambling addiction is real and it’s one of the addictions more refractory to treatment. I’d say it’s probably harder to kick than heroin. But the little-known secret of addiction recovery programmes is that the definition of one that “works” is 25% of people achieving long-term recovery. This isn’t good in an absolute sense but it’s an order of magnitude better than not doing anything or using traditional treatments. Death is the most common drug abuse cessation mechanism.

  24. @BiCR: have you read Theodore Dalrymple’s “Junk Medicine: Doctors, Lies and the Addiction Bureaucracy”?

    It did answer some questions that had occurred to me over the years, in particular why did all the alarmist writing about heroin never contain any scientific account of exactly what the problem is.

  25. Bloke in Costa Rica

    I haven’t read it, but I do know that, apart from a role in early withdrawal management, doctors are generally worse than useless in addiction treatment. Things that do work (for the value of “work” given above) are non-medical and involve all the boring, difficult things you would expect to see in handling something whose etiology is disease-like without being amenable to modern medicine.

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