Recently governments have been crying ‘poor’ more than usual, proposing to cut valued services to the public and to increase taxes and charges to fund their policies. They are also keen to talk about ‘reform’, of the workplace, of health, of climate and so on.

But the reforms we never hear about are reforms of government itself. When our ‘representatives’ start preparing us for massive changes for example…

THE Australian system of free universal healthcare is set to disappear in as little as five years, prompting a radical plan for a new federal-state partnership to take control of hospitals and patient care. CourierMail

Apart from challenging the notion that our healthcare system is ‘free’ let’s look a little closer…

In a startling warning, NSW Health director-general Debora Piccone has told The Daily Telegraph that Australia is hurtling towards a US-style user-pays system due to an ageing population and out of control costs.

Population ageing – true but surely not a surprise? Out of control costs? Remember this?...

The NSW Government racks up an annual wages bill of $23 billion for its bureaucracy, which exceeds 370,000 people, with more than 60 per cent involved in the areas of health and education policy. TheAustralian

This story is absolutely typical of our situation. In the health example we have over a hundred thousand bureaucrats in NSW alone, working on health policy. They don’t deliver any medical services, they don’t comfort patients, they work on ‘policies’ that are clearly a major failure and are getting worse.

Simply put, we’re paying over 100,000 deskbound public servants to administer a system that doesn’t work, while the NSW Health top bureaucrat tells us that we’re moving to a US style system (where millions of people cannot get medical attention because they cannot afford it). For those with broadband – check out Mike Moore’s expose Sicko in which we discover what dreadful results are achieved for 50 million Americans, and how Japan has kept healthcare costs to amazingly low levels but delivers excellent service.

Of course, the US system looks after the wealthy and those who receive private health care coverage – like politicians and senior bureaucrats.

The public service and political elite, see no contradiction in their threats to reduce services to the taxpayer while creaming loads of benefits from our taxes.

US style health care system? Do these dots connect?

Mr Fitzgibbon quit as Defence Minister yesterday after a string of breaches of ministerial and parliamentary standards. The tipping point was Wednesday’s disclosure that his brother, who runs a health insurance company, met an American company in Mr Fitzgibbon’s office, with the minister’s staff present. TheAge

The company was Humana. What were they doing here? Selling us on a US ‘privatised’ system no doubt.

This is a perfect case of needing to say ‘physician, heal thyself’.

Before we start to think about dismantling a health system that provides benefits for those less fortunate than politicians and bureaucrats, we should think about whether or not we can actually afford to continue our health system? Responsible system managers would first consider…

·      Streamlining government for greater efficiency.

·      Removing bureaucracy, duplication, waste and overlaps.

·      Making decision makers use the same system that we use.

·      Finding out where health care works and trying their methods.

Our system of government is extremely wasteful and costly. Changing the system to something more closely resembling the 21st century would yield huge benefits – over $100 bn pa.

Yet the prevailing message is that we cannot afford to look after our ‘ageing population’ and that we’ll have to drop Medicare – especially given the new debt levels of government. And it really looks as though the big US health companies are making inroads into Australia, moulding our malleable politicians to their will.

But let’s look at what we can do to save money first. No organisational system can be relevant across centuries, yet the structure of Australian government remains mired in quill pen approaches coupled with vast, unaccountable bureaucracies whose main output is impediments for other people and businesses.

 

MIKE BOLAN

Governments around Australia like to dispense nostrums to the public as if government had special or useful knowledge that could help us. They tell us to ‘brace for bad news’ (how does one DO that?) and to spend to help the economy. Their policies and regulations, like the ETS, are all about telling us how we should behave.