Feature Christmas 2014

A Christmas carousel

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g7444 (Published 16 December 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g7444
  1. Stephen Isaacs, consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist, retired1,
  2. David Isaacs, senior staff specialist23
  1. 1London N3 1QJ, UK
  2. 2Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology, Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Sydney, NSW 2145, Australia
  3. 3Discipline of Child Health, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
  1. Correspondence to: D Isaacs david.isaacs{at}health.nsw.gov.au

A roundabout tale of health funding irregularities in Dickensian times from Stephen and David Isaacs

A tale in whyche Grinding Poverty meets Blind Affluence; there could be only one loser. Eversneezer Scrounge, Minister of Rude Health, espouses the politics of austerity for personal gain. His trusty clerk, Bob Scratchit, strives to negotiate increased funding, especially for his ailing son, Tiny Budget. Three ghosts appear to Scrounge, but offer less than full bodied assistance on Health Matters.

It was the night before Christmas. Eversneezer Scrounge, Minister of Rude Health, stood in front of his unlit fire, rubbing his gnarled hands together. “What a wheeze. I will introduce a Chilblains Tax.”

But would a Chilblains Tax meet his Government’s stringent requirements for an RCT or Random Christmas Tax? He thought it would, but to check he called downstairs to his trusty clerk Bob Scratchit, who was standing at his desk, quill poised mid-air. “Come, come, man, what do I pay you bad money for? What are you gaping at now?”

“Beg pardon, Mr Scrounge. I was thinking of my poor, sickly son Tiny Budget, who lies languishing in a bedshare, his legs twisted under him due to chronic malnutrition and rickets.”

“I care not a fig about your Tiny Budget. I …

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