Wednesday, January 09, 2013

National's class warfare in health

When it stood for election in 2008 and 2011, National promised more elective surgery and "better, faster, cheaper health care". What they didn't mention was the caveat: "for rich white people":

A Government group is looking at limiting access to common surgical procedures which cost taxpayers $641 million a year.

The National Health Committee has to find savings of $30 million this financial year from elective procedures deemed to be of little benefit.

The money would be used for smarter investment in other parts of the health system.

The only specific elective procedure the committee has so far named for "disinvestment" is the insertion of grommets.

Grommets are tiny ventilation tubes placed in an incision in the eardrum to treat persistent, painful infections called glue ear.

...which is a disease of poverty which can have a long-term effect on hearing development and therefore learning. But its victims are mostly poor brown kids - people National doesn't care about. So, it wants to take medical resources away from them - in the process condemning some to much worse life outcomes - so it can use them on rich white guys with heart disease.

This is not a fair outcome. But its so very, very National, isn't it?