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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.”


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