Should we fine drunks at A & E?

The DUP Health Minister Ed Poots has suggested fining patients who turn up at A&E drunk. Cue meltdown on Nolan…

This is not a recent problem. I recall that in the 80s in Liverpool attacks on staff was a regular occurrence at the weekends. In NI in July and August you’ll see members of loyal orders in varying states of sobriety awaiting treatment, some more patiently than others.

Edwina Curry thought it would act as a disincentive for people who are genuinely ill to even go, and therefore should not be countenanced. Which leaves the original question unaddressed: how to bring some form of relief to medical (who to be fair are working at full stretch throughout the hospital system (we just don’t hear as much about it).

Patricia McKeown called for the resignation if the Minister. But to what end if no one else is articulating an alternative approach?

Your thoughts?

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty