Could it be that Super Hippy Dickie Branson is poised to leap from a hot hair balloon/speed boat/aeroplane/TV channel* into the presently unvirginal territory known as healthcare? Seems that he’s making all the noises that the Department of Health like and, should it transpire, our Dickie will rock up at some hospital, probably with that Scottish fella in tow, and promise the earth for the sick and dying alike.
“What heart replacement package would you like?”, he’ll ask, “we have the one with free evening calls and added channels”. And for once he’ll be right when he burbles “you don’t get that with Sky” because, as yet, Sky aren’t doing open-heart surgery. But given the lucrative opportunities, it won’t be long before you’ll be given the opportunity to have a dish on your head – even before the surgeon’s scalpel (sponsored by Tata or some other weapons grade metal producers) has had a chance to be sponged down by SODEXHO, ICS or Mitie cleaners following it’s last incision. All most excellent if you want a faster broadband speed for your new heart (sponsored by ASDA) but, in reality, about as much use as an ashtray on a motorbike.
Still we can look forward to Dickie making some inroads on timing and the like. Just look at the excellent service provided by his high quality trains which all turn up good and prompt and are always spotlessly spotless. Thinking about it, privatised healthcare will pretty much be the same as privatised trains. You’ll be all scrubbed up and ready to roll with the new Kidney Express (brought to you by Subway) when there’ll be an announcement that the operation is cancelled because of staff shortages. Or that new knee you’ve being promising yourself will have a surgeon failure meaning a major blockage of all knifework in Operating Theatre 1 (provided by Coca-Cola Healthcare and Soft Drinks inc.). But you won’t be able to find out what’s really going on, of course, because the various people wandering around the place work for SERCO or Circle Health or some other bunch. And the phone number you’ve been given by your Personal Healthcare Co-ordinator gets you through to someone called Kyle in Zimbabwe or BJ in Mumbai.
But at least you get to choose the music you want to hear whilst your blood is pumping out onto the operating theatre floor. UK garage, indy, urban jungle, what more could anyone even begin to desire at that moment of intense pain. Cheers Dickie.
Talking of intense pain, and in case you’d forgotten, this ol’ privatised stuff means you’ve got to shell out. “No worries” says Mr Super Hippy. “Now that you’ve got your free evening calls and twenty zillion gigabytes of broadband coursing through your internal organs, there’s every chance that you can get a loan from Virgin. Competitive rates, obviously”.
Dickie, you are a Modern Day Angel. Git.
*Delete as unnecessary