Sunday, February 05, 2006


Covered up by government deception, of course. Imagine how bad it would be if so many Australians did not go to private hospitals instead

The Victorian Government has been accused by the opposition of manipulating hospital statistics and spending money on advertising to mislead voters on the parlous condition of the state's health system. Elective surgery waiting lists put out by the Victoria Government were vastly underestimated, opposition health spokeswoman Helen Shardey said today. Mrs Shardey said there were 20,000 people at least still waiting to visit specialists before they could be placed on surgery waiting lists. "This is what I call the waiting waiting list," she said. The numbers included about 700 children who were waiting to get an appointment in the Royal Children's Hospital.

"I appreciate not all people waiting to attend an appointment are going to be lining up for elective surgery but it's likely a high proportion will," she said. "The figures the Government is presenting are not a true indication of the parlous state of health in Victoria. "(They) should take action to reduce the waiting lists instead of wasting money on advertising, trying to con Victorians into thinking that the health system is running well."

The Victorian Government has recently launched an advertising campaign highlighting a reduction in the time that people wait for surgery. The Government has provided $30 million funding for 16,260 additional outpatient beds at 18 clinics across the state as part of a blitz on waiting lists planned over the next six months. "This is all part of a major push to reduce times for Victorians waiting for outpatient consultation," Victorian Health Minister Bronwyn Pike said today.

But, Mrs Shardye said the $30 million announced in last year's budget. She said the Victorian Government was deliberately hiding the problem by modifying the information that was released. "They changed the quarterly hospital reporting it is now only six monthly with less information (and) they changed the method by which ambulance bypass is being recorded... to cover up (the fact) there were probably about 4000 bypasses of hospitals occurring last year," she said. Mrs Shardey said the Liberal Party was yet to release its health policy and could not guarantee it would direct more funds to the health budget



For greatest efficiency, lowest cost and maximum choice, ALL hospitals and health insurance schemes should be privately owned and run -- with government-paid vouchers for the very poor and minimal regulation. Both Australia and Sweden have large private sector health systems with government reimbursement for privately-provided services so can a purely private system with some level of government reimbursement or insurance for the poor be so hard to do?

Comments? Email me here. If there are no recent posts here, the mirror site may be more up to date. My Home Page is here or here.


No comments: