Tony Abbott is gearing up to debate Rudd on medical care.
You can be pretty certain the debate won’t be about health it will be about Rudd wanting to take great control of the medical system to inflate his own ego - using GST money to do it.
I’ve written to Abbott saying he has two choices:
1. to reshape the health system for the next 40 years by establishing Medicare version 2010, or
2. prop up a creaking Medicare 1975 with a version 35 that's only slightly different from
Rudd’s version and which still costs taxpayer more money than Medicare 1975, version 34.
The great tragedy is that for the last 35 years the medical industry has diverted the attention of governments from 'health' to 'medicine'. As soon as you put doctors and economists in charge of a health system this is where the money goes.
Doctor visits have gone from 4 a year to 12 a year. Just how hopeless is the medical advice that stimulates more and more visits. If it was effective people would be becoming healthier and visiting the doctor less.
The percentage of GDP spent on medical services has doubled.
Government expenditure on medical welfare is now around $80B a year.
This medico-centric view of the world has overseen the most dramatic decline in community health in the history of this country.
Kevin Rudd will not talk about 'health'. He'll talk about 'medicine', in particular Medicare 1975, version 35 and the further protection of the medical industry. All he wants to do is pour more money into hospitals, thinking that will make everything better, solve all health problems.
It won't. It's more ambulances at the bottom of the cliff. Next year the medical begging bowls will be out again for another couple of Billion.
Rudd wants the Commonwealth to have a larger role in hospitals just to satisfy his own ego. Then, if it's like the other projects of this Government, they'll stuff it up. Who are these people thinking they can run hospitals better than anyone else, any better than they can run the ceiling insulation and school building programs?
The fact that Medicare 1975, version 1 was well intentioned didn't make it a good program. It was hastily conceived and poorly thought out. Whoever thought of attaching a welfare system to a medical system was a complete dill.
The delivery was dreadful. July 1st 1975 was the starting date for the greatest decline in the health of the Australian community since the landing of the First Fleet. And as the standard of health went down, medical expenditure increased - exponentially. It was the wrong model.
Rudd will make a poor system worse by throwing more money at it.
I told Abbott he’s got a once in a lifetime chance to build a new and better system.
I told him this was the big one - that he had a chance to bring about a revival of community health, fitness and wellbeing and save the Commonwealth and the States from going bankrupt.
I said the goal is to lower medical expenditure by giving people the opportunity and the incentive to improve their level of health and fitness.
By focusing on people becoming fit and healthy, the hospitals will look after themselves.
On the track
30 minutes on the stepper for 510 steps and 390 calories.
In the meantime stay tuned, highly tuned and from now on, every time you hear the Prime Minister and his shadow talk about health, you’ll know they’re taking about Medicare 1975, version 35.