TV charge is a rip-off
PUBLISHED: 14:01 06 April 2006 | UPDATED: 09:55 06 May 2010
My wife and I are a couple of wrinklies now in our eighties and managing on the state s bountiful handout known as the old age pension. My wife is in hospital, having been an inpatient for the past eight weeks. During this time she has been on two wards,
My wife and I are a couple of wrinklies now in our eighties and managing on the state's bountiful handout known as the old age pension.
My wife is in hospital, having been an inpatient for the past eight weeks. During this time she has been on two wards, the second of which makes a hire charge for the use of a small personal portable TV. As an inpatient for so long, TV is a welcome distraction from boredom and a welcome connection to the outside world.
My wife would be happy to hire a TV for occasional use but not at £23 per week! This is extortion, a month's hire charge would buy you a new TV!
As an inpatient, you have no choice in the matter, the alternative, of bringing in your own TV creates so many bureaucratic problems, the hospital has to undertake electrical checks on any electrical appliances a patient might bring in, that the weeks of delays makes the whole process unworkable. The company hiring out the TV on behalf of the hospital is in a monopoly position and virtually has a licence to print money. The TVs are not state of the art, they are typically grubby, seen better days, sets you see in an institution and we cannot imagine what justifies this fee.
By all means charge a reasonable fee, some of which might presumably help to put a little much needed revenue into the hospital's coffers, but patients are vulnerable and this is tantamount to abuse.
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