The General Medical Council has reportedly issued new guidelines for GPs, directing them to question patients regarding their current employment status and offering advice on how a return to employment can be advantageous to their health and wellbeing.
This controversial move comes at the same time as the World Health Organisation has expanded its International Classification Of Diseases, Tenth Edition (or ICD-10). According to ICD-10, unemployment is now classified under mental and behavioural disorders. The new coding is now:
F100 - Unemployment
F100.1 Temporarily unemployed.
F100.2 Short-term unemployed.
F100.3 Long-term unemployed.
F100.4 Student dicking around for a year.
F100.5 Lazy bastard.
In some quarters, this has been seen as a cynical ploy by the government to reduce the numbers of people claiming sickness and disability benefits. However, Dr Harold Shipman, of the GMC, says that a whole range of physical and behavioural ailments will now be treated with a simple prescription for part-time or full-time work, depending on the budgetary needs of the government, and at significantly lower cost than using expensive new drugs and life-saving treatments.
Needless to say, those who refuse treatment will forfeit all sickness and unemployment benefits, with assets being seized to pay their funeral costs.