web analytics

On the scrap heap

Written By: - Date published: 3:50 pm, August 15th, 2009 - 26 comments
Categories: health, human rights - Tags:

Call me old fashioned if you will, but I like the idea that reforms of government activity should be concieved and implemented by experts in the particular field in question. Which makes me wonder, why the hell has Tony Ryall appointed a financial guy, Murray Horn, to lead a ministerial review into the health system? What the hell would he, and other members of the review panel who mostly come from similar backgrounds, know about what makes for an effective health system?

Depends what you mean by effective, I guess.

To you and me, access to healthcare when we need it is a right, that we pay for with our tax dollars. The report (leaked from within the ministry) shows that to Horn et al, healthcare is about ensuring the supply of labour units (that’s ‘people’ to you and me) for business. Making people healthy is only ‘worthwhile’ as long as it means more cheap, effective labour:

“Spending health dollars on improving life expectancy is a worthy objective in itself but it will only be an ‘investment’ in growth if people also work longer.”

Now, it’s a long established part of ranking patients on waiting lists that age counts against you, after all a successful heart op could give a 40 year old another 40 years of life but only a handful to a 80 year old with the same condition. The health system should try to get the most bang for its limited buck. But National’s review goes far further. It says your economic value (to the system, to the bosses, to the god known as growth) is all that should matter.

It even suggests that getting rid of universial healthcare would be preferable, so as not to ‘waste money’ on people who aren’t contributing labour units but admits this is not possible:

“The desire for universal and equal access to tax-funded care makes it difficult to go too far in this direction (eg in favour of people of working age). Increasing the proportion of health-care funded in other ways might help, for example ACC has a strong focus on prevention and rehabilitation for people in the workforce.”

Welcome to healthcare under National. Designed by business, for business. Unless you’re a functional unit of labour, you’re not worth maintaining. Surplus to requirements. On the scrap heap.

26 comments on “On the scrap heap ”

  1. bill brown 1

    So if you’re on a benefit do you get pushed down the list?

    How about a list of “productive” versus “unproductive” jobs –

    Engineer wins over politician?

  2. Ianmac 2

    They could charge fees up-front before the Hospital would operate. It worked before in the 90’s. It did work didn’t it? No? You mean it was like the USA model pay first, have Insurance or you are OUT! Oh darn.

  3. Daveo 3

    Careful Marty, you don’t want John Armstrong to accuse you of ‘finding fault with anything and everything the Key Government does while expecting your breathless critiques to somehow bring forward its demise’.

    Best you find something superficial to criticise Phil Goff about while slavishly praising John Key’s remarkable ambition for New Zealand. You might even get a regular column in the Herald.

    • ghostwhowalks 3.1

      Not as regular as it used to be. The real answer is that the Herald doesnt have space for in depth political news, writing stories based on court transcripts is so much easier and has a day by day narrative which means the reader comes back for more the next day

  4. ghostwhowalks 4

    I”t’s a long established part of ranking patients on waiting lists that age counts against you, after all a successful heart op could give a 40 year old another 40 years of life but only a handful to a 80 year old ..”

    This is wrong, as age doesnt come into it! Its the persons health at the time of operation that matters. Older people have poorer health and other factors mean they are not eligible while a 40 yr would most likely not have other factors , but obesity being one.
    But the short answer is that the wards are full of elderly people in their 80s having major operations, often their pulse rate is better than those who work in the ward!!

    This idea of saving money by not spending as much money in the last five years of life was looked at previously ( under a national government) but was found to be unworkable.
    Perhaps they have found a financial guy who will make it work.

    So much for including clinicians in decision making, or was that just spin from arch cost cutter Ryall. ( a prime example who spent last year finding superficial things to criticise labour for, but then thats what the newspapers wanted for quickie stories, now they tell us they want positive news !!)

    • Marty G 4.1

      really? I thought age was a factor (one of many) in ranking patients for the utilitarian reason I mention in the post and because higher age means less chance of a good outcome… could be wrong of course

      • ghostwhowalks 4.1.1

        My own family experience was the opposite of your conclusions. My father thought that in his early 80s his age meant he didnt qualify for public funded operations, but was told that wasnt the case. Its clinical criteria only .
        Ageism is out but fatism is in.

  5. ak 5

    Ya gotta larf. Populist sloganeering meets reality, and appointed puppets serve up the clangers. After years of demonising our “heartless” health system and its mythical army of thumb-twiddling bureaucrats, they come up with – wait for it – a whole new level of bureaucracy and a work-for-the-op scheme! Need a new hip? Sorry, Winnie’s mob: biketrack workers and children first.

    • ghostwhowalks 5.1

      Obamas grandmother had a hip replacement only days before she died, and the circumstances have been raised in the US healthcare debate

  6. Anthony Karinski 6

    It’s a cold and soul less ideology that assumes society is here to serve business rather than business being allowed as long as it benefits society. Unfortunately some of the Nats seem to think the former is the way to go.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      That’s true of National and ACT. They really do believe that society is here to service the business owners and shareholders.

      • Macro 6.1.1

        Isn’t it?? But surely our sole mission in life is to make the bosses happy – and when we can’t do that – well shouldn’t we all just shuffle off and die?

  7. kaplan 7

    I’ve had to read through this twice just to convince myself that I had read it right the first time. It turns out I had and to say I am disgusted is an understatement.

    That this kind of mentality exists offends me and should offend anyone who believes humans are more than just a part of ‘the machine’.

    The one positive I will take is the strengethening of my resolve to help remove these arseholes from power in 2011.

    [Edit]
    I understand Ryall is on Q+A tomorrow. I suggest viewer feedback that asks some questions on this issue.
    Q+A Feedback/Opinion

  8. bobbity 8

    “The one positive I will take is the strengethening of my resolve to help remove these arseholes from power in 2011.”

    Remove who ….. dickhead bureaucrats producing cak reports on taxpayers money ?

    I was under the impression this kind of drivel is produced all the time for ministers to sift through, just look at the rubbish that comes out of treasury on a regular basis. I’d suggest you keep your powder dry until something is actioned by the government, who have a policy of no major changes to the health system despite it needing a kick in the pants here and there.

    • Pascal's bookie 8.1

      Really?

      “Keep your powder dry until the enemy fires his weapon”

      seems like shit advice to me.

      When someone runs something that you don’t like up a flagpole, chop it down.

      • Lew 8.1.1

        “Keep your powder dry until the enemy fires his weapon’

        Sort of goes counter to the dictum that you shouldn’t ever die with a round in your magazine.

        L

  9. sk 9

    oh dear .. back to the 1990’s. Murray Horn is yet another example of the NZ right who can’t hack it in the real world. Ruth made him the youngest ever Treasury Secretary, and he ran an operation where candidates to work at Treasury were assessed by their politicial bias .. implemented by Mark Prebble of course . . slightly centrist and you were too left . ..

    So, off he went to ANZ where he was fired for running the NZ operations into the ground. The Aussies thought he was cr*p so posted him to Newcastle .. .

    And here he resurfaces in the JK gov’t as Health Czar ..

    Marty G, you insult financial guys by calling Murray Horn a financial guy .. He is a failed financial guy

  10. Michael 10

    Although I don’t think this review will have much of an effect, it’s exactly the reason why the US public opposes public healthcare.

    When they say “government death panels”, this is what they mean. When the government funds and provides healthcare, this is the result. Bureaucrats and politicians deciding who gets healthcare, when it should be individuals.

    If you want to avoid this kind of situation, then ACT’s healthcare policy is a good solution. Still taxpayer-funded, everyone has access to health care, but it’s the individual, not bureaucrats, that’re in charge of their health.

    • Lindsey 10.1

      As opposed to Insurance company death panels or bankruptcy death panels, or waiting for pauper hospitals death panels?

      • ghostwhowalks 10.1.1

        Someone has obviously never had a major car accident. They would find out how much they are in ‘charge of their car insurance’.

        Just having a fee for service hospital system adds 25% in costs of administration, and the hospital or clinic has the incentive to load up the treatment and not being an expert the person you rely on is the hospitals doctor.

  11. Well that would be out with all the single mums on benefit and their useless sprouts whom we all know would also end up on benefit all those useless grandparents who live on “our” tax money and all of those who don’t have low paying serfdom jobs for the money masters. Welcome to the new feudal age.

  12. Beyondthebeltway 12

    Social Darwinism from the iguanas at Treasury…….enacted by T Rex Tony

  13. Ms X 13

    So much for all the elderly people who voted the NACT govt in…..

  14. CMR 14

    On the scrap heap? Are you meaning Phil Gone-Off? Tonight’s poll results are interesting…

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • New visitor attraction to boost tourism
    The opening of the first major new tourism attraction since the global outbreak of COVID-19 closed borders to international travellers will provide a welcome boost to visitor numbers in our largest city, says Tourism Minister Stuart Nash. Mr Nash has this afternoon taken part in the official opening ceremony of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Govt moves on drug checking to keep young New Zealanders safer this summer
    The Government will pass time limited legislation to give legal certainty to drug checking services, so they can carry out their work to keep New Zealanders safer this summer at festivals without fear of prosecution, Health Minister Andrew Little says. Next year the Government will develop and consult on regulations ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Public Service Commissioner reappointed
    Minister for the Public Service Chris Hipkins announced today that Public Service Commissioner Peter Hughes CNZM has been reappointed for three years. The Public Service Commissioner is appointed by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Prime Minister. “Mr Hughes’ reappointment reflects the need for strong leadership and continuity to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Pōwhiri marks the start of a critical year for APEC
    New Zealand kicked off its APEC host year today, with a pōwhiri taking place on Wellington’s waterfront with local iwi Te Atiawa, and a number of Government ministers welcoming representatives from the other 20 APEC economies. “APEC is a hugely important international event, and New Zealand is hosting amidst the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Speech at APEC 21 Opening Pōwhiri
    9am, Tuesday 1 DecemberTe Whare Waka o Pōneke, Wellington Central He Mihi Kei aku rangatira no ngātapito e whā o te ao huri noa, tātou e huihui mai nei. Tēnā rā kōutou katoa. He tangiapakura ki ngā tini aituā kei waenganui i a tātou, ka tangi tonu te ngākau ki ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Government extends business debt relief to October 2021
    To assist with the ongoing economic recovery from COVID-19, rules allowing affected businesses to put their debt on hold have been extended by 10 months. “New Zealand’s economy is recovering better than we expected, but the impacts of the pandemic are far-reaching and some businesses need continued support to keep ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Bill introduced to support workers with 10 days sick leave
    The Government is delivering on a key commitment by introducing a Bill to Parliament to expand sick leave entitlements from five days to ten days a year, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood announced today. “COVID-19 has shown how important it is to stay at home when people are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Progress on pay equity for DHB staff
    Today’s initial agreement between DHBs and the PSA on pay equity for clerical and administration staff is an important step toward better, fairer pay for this crucial and largely female workforce, Health Minister Andrew Little says. If ratified, the agreement between the Public Service Association and the country’s 20 District ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Iconic Milford Track officially reopens
    One of New Zealand’s premier hikes and a cornerstone of the Te Anau community, the Milford Track has officially reopened, “From today, hikers booked on the popular Great Walk will be able to complete the walk end-to-end for the first time since early February,” Minister of Conservation Kiri Allan says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Support for farmers beefed up ahead of La Niña
    Further funding for feed support services and new animal welfare coordinators will help farmers who continue to feel the effects of an extended drought, says Rural Communities Minister Damien O’Connor. “In March this year, I classified the drought in the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chathams ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Next steps for Christchurch Hospital campus redevelopment
    Canterbury DHB will be better placed to respond to future demand for services and continue to deliver high quality care, with the next stage of the campus redevelopment programme confirmed, Health Minister Andrew Little says. The Government has approved $154 million in funding for the construction of a third tower ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Five Power Defence Arrangements Defence Ministers’ Joint Statement
    The Defence Ministers from Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and United Kingdom reaffirmed their nations’ continued commitment to the Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA), and commended the achievements over the past 49 years as the FPDA moves towards its 50th Anniversary in 2021.  The Ministers recognised the FPDA’s significant role ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature funding protects health of Hawke’s Bay waterways
    A joint Government and Hawke’s Bay Regional Council project will invest $4.2 million to protect local waterways, enhance biodiversity and employ local people, Environment Minister David Parker announced today.   Over two years, the Hāpara Takatū Jobs for Nature project will fence 195km of private land to exclude stock from vulnerable ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Year border exception for seasonal workers in the horticulture and wine industries
    2000 additional RSE workers to enter New Zealand early next year employers must pay these workers at least $22.10 an hour employers will cover costs of managed isolation for the RSE workers RSE workers will be paid the equivalent of 30 hours work a week while in isolation From January ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government increases support for New Zealanders to work in seasonal jobs
    The Government is offering further financial support for unemployed New Zealanders to take on seasonal work. These new incentives include: Up to $200 per week for accommodation costs $1000 incentive payment for workers who complete jobs of six weeks or longer increasing wet weather payments when people can’t work to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government receives Royal Commission of Inquiry report into the Terrorist Attack on Christchurch Mos...
    Minister for Internal Affairs Jan Tinetti has today received the Royal Commission of Inquiry report into the Terrorist Attack on Christchurch Mosques, and will table it in Parliament on Tuesday December 8. “I know this will have been a challenging process for whānau, survivors and witnesses of the terrorist attack ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand Government to declare a climate emergency
    The Government will declare a climate emergency next week, Climate Change Minister James Shaw said today.                                       “We are in the midst of a climate crisis that will impact on nearly every ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Call for urgent action on Pacific conservation
    A declaration on the urgency of the global biodiversity crisis and the need for immediate, transformative action in the Pacific was agreed at a pan-Pacific conference today. The 10th Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas is taking place this week across the Pacific.  Minister of Conservation Kiritapu ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech from the throne
    E aku hoa i te ara o te whai, Kia kotahi tā tātou takahi i te kō, ko tōku whiwhi kei tō koutou tautoko mai. Ko tāku ki a koutou, hei whakapiki manawa mōku. He horomata rangatira te mahi, e rite ai te whiwhinga a te ringatuku, me te ringakape ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Keynote address to Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand conference
    Speech to the CAANZ conference - November 19, 2020 Thank you, Greg, (Greg Haddon, MC) for the welcome. I’d like to acknowledge John Cuthbertson from CAANZ, the Commissioner of Inland Revenue Naomi Ferguson, former fellow MP and former Minister of Revenue, Peter Dunne, other guest speakers and CAANZ members. I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Expert independent advisory group appointed to strengthen the future of Māori broadcasting
    A panel of seven experts are adding their support to help shape the future of Māori broadcasting, Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson has announced today. “Today I will meet with some of the most experienced Māori broadcasters, commentators and practitioners in the field. They have practical insights on the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government to review housing settings
    New Zealand’s stronger-than-expected economic performance has flowed through to housing demand, so the Government will review housing settings to improve access to the market, the Finance Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “Our focus is on improving access to the housing market for first home buyers and ensuring house price growth ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Crown accounts reflect Govt’s careful economic management
    The better-than-expected Crown accounts released today show the Government’s careful management of the COVID-19 health crisis was the right approach to support the economy. As expected, the Crown accounts for the year to June 2020 show the operating balance before gains and losses, or OBEGAL, was in deficit. However that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Community launch marks next step in addressing racism in education
    The launch of Te Hurihanganui in Porirua today is another important milestone in the work needed to address racism in the education system and improve outcomes for Māori learners and their whānau, Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis says. Budget 2019 included $42 million over three years to put Te Hurihanganui ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to consider recommendations on DNA use in criminal investigations
    The Minister of Justice has received the Law Commission’s recommending changes to the law governing the way DNA is used in criminal investigations. The report, called The Use of DNA in Criminal Investigations – Te Whahamahi I te Ira Tangata I ngā Mātai Taihara, recommends new legislation to address how ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to Wakatū Nelson regional hui on trade
    First, I want to express my thanks to Te Taumata for this hui and for all the fantastic work you are doing for Māori in the trade space. In the short time that you’ve been operating you’ve already contributed an enormous amount to the conversation, and developed impressive networks.  I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to Primary Industries Summit
    Thank you for the opportunity to speak to you today about the significant contribution the food and fibres sector makes to New Zealand and how this Government is supporting that effort. I’d like to start by acknowledging our co-Chairs, Terry Copeland and Mavis Mullins, my colleague, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Fast track referrals will speed up recovery and boost jobs and home building
    The Government is taking action to increase jobs, speed up the economic recovery and build houses by putting three more projects through its fast track approval process. “It’s great to see that the fast-track consenting process is working. Today we have referred a mix of potential projects that, if approved, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Papakāinga provides critically needed homes in Hastings
    A papakāinga opened today by the Minister for Māori Development the Hon Willie Jackson will provide whānau with much needed affordable rental homes in Hastings. The four home papakāinga in Waiōhiki is the first project to be completed under the ‘Hastings Place Based’ initiative. This initiative is a Government, Hastings ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand ready to host APEC virtually
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern took over the leadership of APEC earlier today, when she joined leaders from the 21 APEC economies virtually for the forum’s final 2020 meeting. “We look forward to hosting a fully virtual APEC 2021 next year. While this isn’t an in-person meeting, it will be one ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Revival of Māori Horticulturists
    The rapid revival of Māori horticulture was unmistakeable at this year’s Ahuwhenua Trophy Awards, with 2020 marking the first time this iconic Māori farming event was dedicated to horticulture enterprises. Congratulating finalists at the Awards, Māori Development Minister Willie Jackson said growing large-scale māra kai is part of Māori DNA. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Emergency benefit to help temporary visa holders
    From 1 December, people on temporary work, student or visitor visas who can’t return home and or support themselves may get an Emergency Benefit from the Ministry of Social Development, Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced today. Previously, temporary visa holders in hardship because of COVID-19 have had ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • School sustainability projects to help boost regional economies
    Forty one schools from the Far North to Southland will receive funding for projects that will reduce schools’ emissions and save them money, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. This is the second round of the Sustainability Contestable Fund, and work will begin immediately. The first round announced in April ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Farmer-led projects to improve water health in Canterbury and Otago
    More than $6 million will be spent on helping farmers improve the health of rivers, wetlands, and habitat biodiversity in Canterbury and Otago, as well as improving long-term land management practices, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. Four farmer-led catchment group Jobs for Nature projects have between allocated between $176,000 and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Tupu Aotearoa continues expansion to Pacific communities in Nelson, Marlborough, Tasman & Northl...
    Pacific communities in Nelson, Marlborough, Tasman and Northland will benefit from the expansion of the Tupu Aotearoa programme announced today by the Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio. The programme provides sustainable employment and education pathways and will be delivered in partnership with three providers in Northland and two ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New primary school and classrooms for 1,200 students in South Island
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins unveiled major school building projects across the South Island during a visit to Waimea College in Nelson today. It’s part of the Government’s latest investment of $164 million to build new classrooms and upgrade schools around the country. “Investments like this gives the construction industry certainty ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister of Māori Development pays tribute to Rudy Taylor
      Today the Minister of Māori Development, alongside other Government Ministers and MP’s said their final farewells to Nga Puhi Leader Rudy Taylor.  “Rudy dedicated his life to the betterment of Māori, and his strong approach was always from the ground up, grassroots, sincere and unfaltering”  “Over the past few ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister to attend APEC Leaders’ Summit
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will attend the annual APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting and associated events virtually today and tomorrow. “In a world where we cannot travel due to COVID-19, continuing close collaboration with our regional partners is key to accelerating New Zealand’s economic recovery,” Jacinda Ardern said. “There is wide ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to Infrastructure NZ Symposium
    Tena Koutou, Tena Koutou and thank you for inviting me to speak to you today. This is a critical time for New Zealand as we respond to the damage wreaked by the global COVID-19 pandemic. It is vital that investment in our economic recovery is well thought through, and makes ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Pike River 10 Year Anniversary Commemorative Service
    Tēnei te mihi ki a tātau katoa e huihui nei i tēnei rā Ki a koutou ngā whānau o te hunga kua riro i kōnei – he mihi aroha ki a koutou Ki te hapori whānui – tēnā koutou Ki ngā tāngata whenua – tēnā koutou Ki ngā mate, e ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago