Tuesday, January 10, 2006

How do you create bureaucracy?

In the comments thread on one of Dr Crippen's posts, I came across this gem:
I could have missed a post, but I'm staggered no-one has considered the bureaucracy involved in collecting relatively small amounts of money. Did I see someone suggest £5 per GP visit? I don't suppose Dr C remembers those days when Legal aid under the Green Form Scheme meant collecting contributions of a fiver? The paperwork was horrendous.
Now I'm used to the private sector so I'm a bit confused as to how it is possible to turn the collection of small sums of money into a bureaucratic shambles. I spend £5 most days of the week at my local shop without any paperwork being filled in at all. How is it possible to create bureaucracy out of a simple financial transaction.

OK - here's a trial system for the NHS to charge at point of consumption.

Patient: "I've got an appointment to see Dr Crippen at 9:30"
Receptionist: "That will be £5 please"
Patient: "There you go"
Receptionist: "Thank-you. Please take a seat."

There, that wasn't so difficult was it?