Sunday, April 17, 2005

Is our public health system stuffed?

Do we need to spend more tax money on our public health system? Do we need to throw more good money after bad? Do we need another poke in the eye with a sharp stick?

Senior clinicians issue health warning - our overstretched health system is compromising safe patient care. Here's an expensive socialist proposal - let's ramp up public health care funding so that by 2010 we're spending 50% more on public health than we are today. That should fix it, surely? Nope. It's already been done, and it didn't work! This year the government has budgeted $10 billion for health, half as much again as the $6.77 billion spent in 2000. Waiting lists are longer now.

If you wanted a new car in East Berlin prior to the destruction of the Berlin Wall, you put your name on a list and waited around 12 years for it to be made. When your car was eventually ready, it was cheap, although poor quality. The reason for the wait was due to the socialist government in place at the time; cars were made to order and there was no opportunity for competition. As soon as the wall fell more cars became available.

We run a similar (but often fatal) version of this scenario here in Godzone but with people's health rather than automobiles. We all smugly smile about life under the Warsaw Pact but no-one seems to get the parallels to what's happening here for people who want hip replacements rather than cars.


At 6:36 am, Blogger Ms Vile File said...

If throwing more money at the Health care system won't fix the problem, what will?

P.S. Not a loaded question. my ingenuous-ness is genuine.

At 2:32 am, Blogger Richard said...

Nothing will fix the public health system - that's my point.

Fortunately, there is no need for the government to be involved in health care, just as there is no need for the government to be involved in hair care.

At 4:14 pm, Blogger Antarctic Lemur said...

I have few problems with the Government using tax money to subsidize poorer peoples health insurance, but I have a big problem with the Government owning and running local monopoly providers of healthcare.

I also have a big problem with the inefficiency of taxing poor people, only to end up using taxes to pay for their healthcare, education etc. Why no just cut taxes greatly, and give poorer people rebates only useable for health insurance and education?

Seems perfectly reasonable to me.

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