City Mulls Proposal to Make Hungover Patients Pay for Treatment

Deputy Mayor for Social Development Leonid Pechatnikov said that although charging money to people who call an ambulance because they are hungover is a good idea, it would be difficult to implement.

The proposal to make emergency medical assistance a paid service for some categories of patient is currently under consideration at the city administration, Interfax reported Wednesday.

"This is a wonderful idea, but I do not know how it can be realized," Pechatnikov said.

The official said that allowing medics to charge money for emergency visits to people with hangovers could lead to the system being abused.

"An ambulance paramedic could say that any patient is intoxicated just to get payment from him," Pechatnikov added.

Earlier, Izvestia quoted the head of the Independent Paramedics' Union Dmitry Belyakov, who said each ambulance station makes on average two visits a day to people suffering from the effects of alcohol intoxication.

Paramedics have the right to refuse to help hungover patients, because this service is not covered by the mandatory medical insurance.