This is an interesting letter originally posted to the Hauraki Herald regarding John Key from Dr Robert Anderson of Tauranga.
I was particularly disturbed to see the recent flood of letters from
John Key suggesting ways to improve our health system. I note many were directed to women. Was this a veiled attempt for them to manipulate men into voting National?
I doubt if Key’s solutions would be acceptable to many informed New Zealanders after they have read Nicky Hagar’s brilliant expose, Hollow Men. Trained in the Friedman school, as was his predecessor, Don Brash, the National Party solution is to sell off assets[i] that are the property of our people. Selling these to greedy corporations does one of two things. It bleeds the industry dry without putting anything back, as it did with NZ Rail. Or it means “restructuring” to reduce jobs and funnel profits to off-shore foreign shareholders.
Helen Clark’s government is trying to do all it can to repair the
results of the Roger Douglas blitzkrieg, another Hayek convert to
the free-market model. At least, thanks to David Lange, our
hospitals were not sold off and some provincial hospitals are slowly recovering.[ii]
Although this ruthless philosophy has proven disastrous in many
countries that have adopted it, there are those still keen to see it fully implemented here.
I note there is little information on Key’s discussion document[iii]
concerning the source of money to bring about the improvements he advocates nor how he proposes to bring them about? Can we assume that, “The judicious use of public-private partnerships,” infers we enlarge the private hospital system at the expense of the public sector?
I disagree that, “Labour’s ideological aversion to private providers
is unnecessarily limiting patient options and harming their health.”
Health services should be available to all, irrespective of economic position. We certainly do not want a system such as the US in which only the rich can afford to be treated and an estimated 50 million go without.
Dr Robert Anderson
Union of Concerned Scientists
[i] Hagar N., “The Hollow Men”
[ii] Hauraki Herald 20th Nov 2007 “Hauraki Coromandel women can
expect shorter waiting times”