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Another 20 Years Of Failing Health?

Posted on 04 Jun 2009

The existing system of delivering health services is not achieving its objectives and, in some instances, is failing badly - despite a myriad of different policies having been implemented over the years to enable people to get healthcare when they need it, ACT New Zealand Health Spokesman Sir Roger Douglas said today.

"This is nothing new: successive Governments have thrown money at health problems for years - to no avail."Sir Roger said.

"Health spending is set to rise from $12,395 million to $13,397 million - an increase of eight percent - when inflationary expectations are one percent. This is 7.66 percent of GDP - and that does not include private expenditure on healthcare.

"The fact is that, until we can ensure the health sector works for the consumer, we cannot keep pouring money into health if we cannot be confident of getting value for money. Putting in an additional $x million into health won't make a bit of difference if we don't get $x million of extra assistance going to the people who need it.

"Under the current system, however, we cannot guarantee that any of that assistance reaches the primary healthcare consumer - because too often Government assistance, intended for the benefit of patients, is captured by the providers of the service in salary increases and back pay.

"We can't afford to use a blunderbuss of pay increases to deal with shortages in particular areas. Unless we tackle all the underlying causes of staff shortages, we can expect to face these sorts of salary demands on a regular basis.

"What is disappointing is that this is nothing new - I said these very things in a speech to the Hospital Boards' Association in 1987 but, in the past two decades, nothing has changed. Rather than looking at new solutions, the system is the same as always - and we are left throwing money into a bottomless pit without any genuine improvement in health outcomes.

"It's time we got real about the problems in the health sector and realised that the current system simply doesn't work. As such, I am urging the Government to think outside the square and be prepared to look at new ways of dealing with old problems,"Sir Roger said.

Please read my 1987 speech to the Hospital Boards' Association via the link below:

Glenn Kelman, chief

Glenn Kelman, chief executive and president of Redfin, said that it will not open offices across the Island to launch its services. He said one office in either Melville or Huntington would be enough. The online brokerage would just develop and introduce better features, in addition to its foreclosed home search tools.

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