That a pretty drastic picture he paints, of a health service hamstrung by drunks.
And yet these images of paralytic revellers causing mess and mayhem in our city centres on New Year’s Eve show precisely that: a society in the grip of a binge-drinking culture.
A bunch of alcohol-sodden, helpless and hapless wrecks, so out of it they appear barely able to control their bodily functions.
Even more depressing, however, is the fact that these are not the usual suspects – thuggish male louts or football hooligans – we see brawling and barfing their way to destruction; but young women.
One, a girl in red, has a huge wet patch visible on the back of her indecently short dress.
Another, tightless and legless, is being held upright by an exasperated looking young man.
Stretcher cases: Revellers in London end their night in the care of St John Ambulance
Exposed: Slumped on a step in Edinburgh, she seems oblivious to her plight
Cause for laughter? One girl is bloodied but another finds it amusing
Another sits shoeless and semi-naked in a doorway, her head between her legs as her friend stares wearily into the middle distance.
Others lash out in drunken fury, or stagger barefoot through the streets, vertiginous heels in hand, make-up streaked across their faces. Asleep on rubbish bags, drooling on stretchers: it’s like a cross between Animal House and The Walking Dead.
And you know the worst of it? When they regain consciousness the next day, long after the street cleaners have washed away the vomit and other unmentionables, long after the St John Ambulance crews have packed up and gone home, long after the last Jagerbombs have been necked and the empties put out for recycling, they won’t be embarrassed or ashamed.
They won’t wince at the mortifying humiliation of it all, the ghastly, dehumanising shambles; they won’t be filled with remorse or self-loathing.
They’ll just congratulate themselves on a great night out, hoot with laughter at the state they got themselves in, maybe even share their snaps on social media, swap hangover horror stories with friends. It makes me want to weep.
A man grimaces as a stumbling woman seizes him in Nottingham and a dishevelled party-goer walks along the street
A woman lies slumped on a bench after a night out in Cardiff city centre
A woman bares all to the camera as celebrations start early in Sheffield
The number of alcohol-related deaths every year among women has increased from 1,334 in 1994 to 2,838 today.
And of these, one of the biggest increases was in women aged 20 to 34, with a rise of 130 per cent.
Because incredibly, unbelievably, getting ‘wasted’ is a badge of honour among today’s generation of ladettes.
And just like so-called ‘slut- shaming’ (criticising a woman for being promiscuous), judging a woman for being drunk to the point of incontinence is not the done thing any more.
These girls have grown up in a post-feminist society that tells them anything a man can do, they can do better.
A woman carries her friend along Broad Street in Birmingham
And that includes getting monumentally, catastrophically bladdered.
Even before they leave the house they’re half cut, thanks to the ‘pre-lash’, ‘pre-loading’ culture that now exists. That means getting tanked up before you go out, partly to save money in the clubs and bars, partly to add to the ‘fun’.
A couple of bottles of cheap vodka and some Red Bulls, and you’re up, up and away, free of all inhibition and ready to dance up a storm on that dance floor.
Well, all I can say is that if this is equality, you can jolly well keep it. Because while I yield to no one in my fondness for a glass or three of high spirits, the idea of intentionally getting so intoxicated I can no longer stand is all wrong.
But then I’m lucky. I didn’t grow up in Tony Blair’s brave new world of 24-hour drinking. Of discounted supermarket booze and sugary sweet alcopops specifically engineered to appeal to young girls.
In my day alcohol really was a controlled substance: it was a) expensive and b) pubs closed at 11pm, and after that it was the devil’s own work finding a drink.
And because there was no Uber, you either stuck to tonic water or walked it off. People drank, of course, and got drunk. But it was more by mistake than by design.
In fact, being drunk was seen as a sign of weakness, a source of some embarrassment. If you had a hangover, you hid it the next day in the office. You certainly didn’t discuss it with co-workers or allow it to affect your performance.
Weary: Protecting her semi-naked friend
Flat out: Friends have to help a girl whose tottering heels gave way
Violence: A T-shirted youth tries to fend off a furious girl’s punches
That is why these images are both so shocking and so sad. These women – young, attractive, well-dressed, with their expensive fake tans and glamorous hair extensions, perfect manicures and complex and costly tattoos – have intentionally got themselves into this state.
Which begs the question: what sorrows could they possibly have that need such comprehensive drowning?
Could it perhaps be that, despite all the opportunities available to young women today, there is a gaping hole in their lives they cannot fill?
Or is it simply the case that if you remove the social stigma of drunkenness and make alcohol cheap and readily available, this is what you get? Or maybe it’s just as Mr Stevens says: they’re just really selfish.