Wednesday, April 21, 2010

GRAB THE MONEY AND RUN - Tuesday 2pth April 2010

The COAG meeting is over.

The Prime Minister struts the stage and says 'This is an historic moment. ... nurses and doctors will be happy.' (You betcha. Another $20B poured down their throats and p*ssed up against the wall.)

It's bunkum.

What we've got is more of the same. Another dash for cash before the dash for the planes. Death by PowerPoint and exhaustion has taken precedence over reason and logic. Premiers and Chief Ministers bribed into accepting a health policy that is out of date by a factor of 35 years.

Next year they'll be back in the same time, same room accepting the same bribes.

As the nation's health gets worse, all the prime Minister can do is write cheques to the medical industry.

If you thought this year's school building and housing insulation fiasco's were bad enough, they pale into insignificance when compared to the medical fiasco that goes on year after year. It has an unstoppable momentum, an unquenchable thirst for money

Today will go down in history as a most historical moment indeed - the moment when all Australian governments failed to grasp that

- the major health problem in this country is that too many people
are unhealthy. It's ambulances at the bottom of the cliff all over again

- governments don't need to own and run hospitals any more than they
need fto own and run power houses, airlines and banks

- if governments want to run hospitals they need to send out accounts

- if government s want to run hospitals they either have to employ
specialists on salariues or put out tenders

- private hospouate are quite capable of servicing people who can't
afford to pay their accounts - providng the welfare system is

- protection of the monopoly power of the medical industry is
doing this country irreparable harm

- you can't solve a fitness problem, with a medical solution

- the medical industry is unrelenting in it's drive to gouge
both its customers and Australian governments

- you can't cobble a health system to a welfare system

- you can't go to a hospital and expect to get instant attention;
they're not selling hamburgers

- you can't offer anyone a free service for anything without
going broke.

It sends the wrong message to the unfit and unhealthy. They don't need to smarten themselves up because the State will pay for any treatment they may need.

It sends the wrong message to the fit and healthy who see more and more of their money being spent on the unfit and unhealthy. Effort goes unrewarded. It's survival of the fattest.

It sends the wrong message to the state governments who instead of spending less on medical services will be encouraged to spend more. It just eggs them on.

Far from being an historic day, this is a dark day for public health policy.

One of the bribes that came out today was $800m for 500 hospital beds - that's $1.6m for a bed. I'm sure Gerry Harvey would love to tender for that job lot.

How in the hell does it cost $32m to build a room with 20 beds in it? Who in the hell makes up these neumbers? The same people who costed out covered areas in schools at half a million a pop?

What we've ended up with is
On the track
No track today. Spent the day out at the AIS.

In the meantime stay tuned, highly tuned and prepare for the time when I stop writing about this stuff.

John Miller

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