The latest wheeze to emerge from Albia's Health Ministry (current proprietor Poynti Hoozatt) is a radical reform of the country's ambulance services(1). Given that the average Albian ambulance is famed for acting with all the speed, urgency and desire for promptitude of a foreign correspondent beng asked to pay his bar bill, it would take some skill to announce such a move without it being greeted with a chorus of approval. In the circustances it is a testament to Ms Hoozitt's abilities that the only choruses have been of puzzlement and concern. The most worrisome part of the proposals would appear to be plans to create a series of "superparamedics"(2) who will be empowered to treat patients at home. Given that (as I have myself experienced(3)) Albian hospitals are thought of as gigantic petri dishes for the cultivation of MRSA, this seems to me a very good thing, though I confess I have greater doubts about the plan to combine this door-to-door service with a pizza delivery franchise.
(1) It is perhaps worth noting at this point that the number for all emergency services in Albia (police, ambulance, fire, alcohol purveyors) is "666". Over the years, many have campaigned for a change to this number given its somewhat unfortunate connotations. Such campaigners have, nonetheless, always been outnumbered by those who feel that the number of the beast is entirely appropriate given the state of Albia's fire, ambulance and police forces (the alcohol purveying services are excellent).
(2) Judging by the reading matter of my fellow habitués of Vlotar's cybercafe, such paramedics will differ from normal paramedics in that they will be possessed of supranormal strength, X-ray vision or some similar power and will be marked out by wearing their underpants outside their tights.
(3) see The Great Escape, A Trick Of The Mind et al.
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