People with self-inflicted illnesses should move away from Surrey, councillor claims
PATIENTS whose conditions are "self-inflicted" should be driven out of Surrey into concentrated poor areas with low-quality healthcare, a councillor has said.
Councillor John Butcher, an elected member of Elmbridge Borough Council and Surrey County Council (SCC), wants people who become ill due to alcohol, smoking, drugs or obesity to "move away from Surrey" to ensure better healthcare for those who remain.
Under Mr Butcher's plan, the UK would be divided into "equality" and "other" areas – with a 20-year life expectancy gap between them.
In a leaked e-mail to an SCC officer, he wrote: "If the NHS in Surrey were to be run on the basis that patients with self-inflicted morbidity (mainly – smoking, alcohol, narcotics, obesity) and injury (dangerous activities) are, following due warning, placed in a much slower-moving queue for healthcare than 'other' patients, this would encourage the self-inflicted to move away from Surrey, to areas where there is no differentiation between patients on the grounds of their contribution towards their condition.
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"And it would deter the self-inflicted from coming to live in Surrey. Over time, that would result in the healthcare for the 'other' patients in Surrey being significantly better than the average national level for all patients, as the resources deployed to the self-inflicted would be very much reduced.
"Eventually the self-inflicted patients would end up living in 'equality' areas that are dominated by politicians who pander to their needs, thus driving more 'other' patients out of those areas, as healthcare there will be badly affected by the over-dominance of the self-inflicted.
"Eventually the country will be sharply divided into two types of area: the 'equality' ones, where the self-inflicted unhealthy are treated the same as all patients, and the 'others', such as, hopefully, Surrey.
"Average life expectancy will be substantially lower (by, say, 20 years) in the 'equality' areas."
Mr Butcher, who described the NHS as a "Marxist" organisation doomed to fail, stated house prices would crash in "equality" areas, while rich areas like Surrey would become increasingly exclusive.
The Cobham councillor, who sits on SCC's Health Scrutiny Committee, added: "Any political party that seeks to pander to the needs of the self-inflicted unhealthy, and to win their votes, will suffer twofold: mortality will ensure that its voters will be much fewer in number than the 'others', and by concentrating its voters into particular areas, that party will never be able to win enough seats to dominate Parliament."Responding to Mr Butcher's comments Karen Randolph, chairman of Save Our Surrey Community Hospitals, said: "I think it makes his position untenable. It does nothing to improve the credibility of the Health Scrutiny Committee."I have to question why the Conservative administration of Surrey think it is appropriate to have someone who holds those sorts of views on the committee."- For more on this story, pick up a copy of next week's Leatherhead Advertiser