Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Coming home to roost

Labour is a status quo party. Like National, they're committed to low debt, low taxes, and absolutely no wealth taxes on rich people like them. And yesterday, we saw the result of that: a major hospital emergency department which kills people:

The emergency department of one of New Zealand's biggest hospitals has been slammed as unsafe for patients and staff in a damning new report.

An independent inquiry into the death of a patient in June - after she left Middlemore's emergency department (ED) upon being told it would take hours for her to be seen - has delivered a brutal assessment of the hospital's ED.

In a scathing, five-page document, Middlemore has been described as dysfunctional, overcrowded and unsafe.

Written by an unidentified fellow from the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine, the report stated that only the exceptional hard work and dedication of Middlemore's staff was keeping it from more serious incidents.

And its not just Middlemore. Two weeks ago there was a similar report about Palmerston North hospital, which saw a similar completely avoidable death due to lack of ICU capacity.

This is what the status quo parties' low debt, low taxes policy means in practice: chronic underinvestment in infrastructure (and the health system is infrastructure), meaning that things only work by gouging ever increasing amounts of free labour out of workers. That can't go on forever, and eventually things fall through the cracks. In local government, Keeping Rates Low just means shit on the streets and crumbling footpaths. When central government does it, people die. By their funding decisions, our government are murderers. But I guess they were being "kind" to people on $296,007 a year, rather than people who needed a hospital.

This is why we need change. Urgent change. And that means sweeping away the rotten, status quo parties who would rather see people die than pay a cent more. There's an election next year, and we should treat political parties promising underinvestment the same way we treat local government candidates promising it: throw the bums out and elect someone better.