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Govt health priorities are bizarre

Media Release
Wednesday 9 January 2013
Govt health priorities are bizarre
“The provision of another $1million for further Grey Hospital talk-fests offers a fascinating insight into the bizarre nature of current priorities in health spending” said DSC Health Spokesman, David Tranter.

“As one example, at the current Fred Hollows Foundation cost for fixing cataracts $1million would treat an incredible 40,000 people. But then Fred - still a hero in Australia many years after his death - was one of those indomitable people who had a fine disregard for going through the “proper” channels wasting time and money on empire-building politicians and their bureaucratic myrmidons.

“There was a time in New Zealand when health professionals like the legendary Doctor Smith created the first health system in the Hokianga without a single bureaucrat in sight. Until health management was corporatised under National 20 years ago the Coast had some outstanding no-nonsense characters in the public system but the intervening period has seen such people increasingly undermined by irrelevant bureaucracy and absurd political agendas.

“Damien O’Connor’s current Labour grandstanding about further “flim-flam” should be seen in the light of Labour governments’ part in the decimation of the rural hospital network over many decades.

So what are Coasters getting for $1million - what Chris Auchinvole calls a committee of “high-powered people” (Star, 3 Jan.) who will “fast-track” the process. “High-powered”? Only if they’ve stuck their fingers in a wall socket. And “Fast-track” - with another four months of blather for starters?

“Grey Hospital has been under threat since the mid-1990s when it appeared on a Southern Regional Health Authority hospital closure list including other regional hospitals subsequently closed.

“No wonder political/bureaucratic ‘promises’ are held in widespread contempt.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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Gordon Campbell:
On First Time Voting (Centre Right)

For the next two days, I’m turning my column over to two guest columnists who are first time voters. I’ve asked them to explain why they were voting, for whom and what role they thought their parental upbringing had played in shaping their political beliefs ; and at the end, to choose a piece of music.

One guest columnist will be from the centre right, one from the centre left. Today’s column is from the centre right – by James Penn:

As someone who likes to consider himself, in admittedly vainglorious fashion, a considered and rational actor, the act of voting for the first time is a somewhat confusing one. I know that my vote has a close to zero chance of actually influencing the outcome of Parliament. The chance I will cast the marginal vote that adds to National or Act’s number of seats in Parliament is miniscule. The chance, even if I did, that doing so would affect the government makes voting on a strictly practical level even more spurious as a worthwhile exercise.

But somehow I have spent a large amount of time (perhaps detrimentally so, depending on the outcome of my upcoming exams) agonising over how to cast my first vote in a national election. More>>

 

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