Australia has a National Health System and, according to some of its doctors, it is crumbling. Aha, say the foes of American Universal Health Care, “I told you so.” And I’ll have to admit, they did. Fair is fair. So where is Australia’s health system heading?
Australia’s public health system is crumbling, leading the country toward a US-style privatised health model, doctors say.
Doctors Reform Society national president Con Costa wants federal Health Minister Tony Abbott to say whether he believes it is better to privatise the health system. (Sydney Morning Herald)
John Howard, the George Bush look-alike Prime Minister, almost certainly does think it is better to privatize the Australian health care system. But he won’t say it because virtually no one else does. So he is doing what the Bushies in the US are doing, starving the public sector until it no longer works (or in Bush anti-tax Field Marshal Grover Norquist’s redolent phrase, “My goal is to cut government in half in twenty-five years to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub”).
In the US the far right opposes any government health plan as a Trojan Horse to kill private insurance. I Australia they have introduced private health insurance as a Trojan Horse to kill the national health plan:
“The politicians have confused the public into thinking they can have private health insurance, a good public health system and massive tax cuts – and clearly that’s not possible.
“And, clearly, it’s the public system that is suffering as a result and that is leading us to a US-style health system.
“Our emergency departments, which are pressure points of our public health system, are under strain.
“We know that they are under-resourced and under-funded and it’s leading to a crisis in the public health system which in turn is leading us down the path to a privatised US-style health system.”
Health was a lever, [Dr. Costa] said.
“You can’t support one system, the private system, without putting down the other system.”
Australia is the other side of the world from the US. But it’s like looking into a mirror.