- Date published:
7:44 am, April 22nd, 2021 - 86 comments
Categories: Christopher Luxon, health, health and safety, Judith Collins, minimum wage, national, Parliament, religion, same old national, Simon Bridges, wages, workers' rights - Tags:
Yesterday was a very bad day for the National Party. I hope it has many more bad days like this in the future.
First up it had to respond to Labour’s Health reform announcement. The announcement of change has reverberated, particularly within the Health system.
The Spinoff reported on some of the responses. Like this one from Dave Galler who is an intensive care specialist at Middlemore:
Never before have I been so moved, excited and inspired by an announcement from the government. It is as if all my dreams have come true.
I know that feeling will be shared by many of my colleagues and I hope the public at large.
Those of us who have been working on the frontlines know that these reforms are long overdue and we congratulate those in the Transition Unit for their work and our ministers of health for taking these bold and necessary steps. The word transformation is much overused but not here.
The intent here is clear – these changes are focused on an agreed outcome for all in a courageous approach to reconfigure our resources to better align and coordinate services to improve their reach to all New Zealanders and especially to those who are missing out now, Maori in particular.
These changes will begin immediately but the emphasis here is not on structure, it is on functions, those of a truly National Health Service based on equity and good outcomes and the promotion of health and well being.
These are changes I support wholeheartedly and I hope you will too.
And what is incredible is that the details were not leaked beforehand, even though hundreds if not thousands of individuals must have known about the general nature of the proposals. Talk about discipline.
The announcement of a dedicated Maori Health Authority also received support. Red necks will hate it, but the health outcomes and life expectancy of Maori are well below those of the general population. Something is wrong with our system.
If you want the basic figures in 2013 Māori life expectancy was 77 for women and 73 for men. The figure for non-Māori women was 84 and for non-Māori men was 80. A seven year difference is really fucking significant.
The most recent figures I could find suggest that the gap has not lessened. From Stuff:
Life expectancy at birth was 73.4 years for Māori males in 2017–2019 (up 3.1 years from 2005–2007), and 77.1 years for Māori females (up 2 years from 2005–2007).
For the “European or other” ethnic group, life expectancy for males in 2017-19 was 81 and 84.5 for females.
This is a significant weakness in our health system and needs to be addressed. Culturally appropriate treatment for Tangata Whenua, who could object to that especially given the statistics.
So how did National respond?
The bureaucracy claim is strange. We are replacing 20 bureaucracies with one. The examples where the 20 have found it difficult to cooperate are legendary, computer systems not properly communicating with each other being one example. Our national population is the equivalent of a medium sized city overseas. Having multiple organisations tasked with rolling out national campaigns to, for instance deal with a global pandemic, is not optimal. As we have learned. They have functioned quite well but the past 12 months shows how important it is to have a National Health system.
National managed to achieve something with a difficulty level of 10.5, oppose the significant reduction in the number of bureaucratic organisations and at the same time oppose the creation of a new bureaucratic organisation, albeit one favouring Tangata Whenua.
And Collins statement that National is committed to continuing the current DHB model but not in its current form as as kafkaesque a use of the English language as you can imagine.
In other National Party news Simon Bridges is hosting an event in Parliament involving what appears to be a rather extreme Christian sect.
This group expressed some rather way out views on Islam the week after the Christchurch Mosque killings.
And Christopher Luxon, who by all appearances is really rich, complained that his daily coffee was going to cost a few cents more.
So yesterday was a day where National focussed on dog whistle racism, supported religious extremists and moaned about workers receiving a modest increase in the minimum wage.
Keep it up National. 23% may not be your low point.