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You’re not a doctor, Tariana

Written By: - Date published: 7:30 am, January 26th, 2010 - 46 comments
Categories: health - Tags:

Tariana Turia got her stomach stapled to tackle her diabetes and it seems to have worked. She wants more people to get the operation. If stomach stapling is a cost-effective way to treat diabetes and will prevent the need for other medical care I think that’s great.

What I don’t want to see happen is Turia’s latest dumb-ass suggestion: a cigarette tax specifically to fund more stomach-stapling operations. That would be a ludicrous intrusion by politicians into the decision-making of the medical experts regarding how the resources they have should be used to greatest effect.

This government already as a bad record in this area – leaning over the shoulders of PHARMAC’s experts to decide that funding should go to Herceptin for purely political reasons rather than on other drugs that would have led to better outcomes for the same spending. We’re seeing the same attitude in education as national standards are imposed against near total opposition from teachers, education experts, and, increasingly, parents. We don’t want more of this ‘politicians know best’ government interfering in decisions that ought to be left to the experts.

By all means discourage smoking more. By all means increase health funding. But don’t tell the medical experts what operations take precedence for the available resources.

*(she comes up with quite a few, eh?)

46 comments on “You’re not a doctor, Tariana”

  1. tc 1

    Pity she didn’t get her mouth stapled……as she still suffers from verbal diabetes.

  2. Bored 2

    As both no great fan of Turiana and a fellow diabetic I hope that if anything good comes out of her at all it will be some greater focus for funding in this area to lower the longer term and greater costs associated with weight issues. Ken Douglas has also shed a heap from the same type of procedure.

    One point, I did the research on this being a “cure” for diabetes, the clinical jury is out. It certainly shows results short term but the ability to cure longer term as opposed to delay is not so certain. The media of course run stories on anything positive as a “cure”, set expectations and we all get to feel dissappointed later.

  3. Peter 3

    my wife works in a medical centre in Sth Auckland, where Diabetes is a huge problem, and a very expensive one to boot.

    What annoys her Doctors the most is that an awful lot of those suffering this disease are not following the instructions as to diet and lifestyle change.

    From what I’ve heard you wouldn’t wish Diabetes on Murray McCully even !

  4. PT 4

    smoking has nothingto do with obesity, not good to link the two by taxing one to fund the other

  5. Neil 5

    what’s wrong with taxing tobacco to fund this?

    the govt has always determined health spending priorities, look at heart surgery for example. that’s part of their job.

  6. BLiP 6

    Hey – I know!!

    Lets begin to create a generation of New Zealanders who care about what they eat. We can ban shit food from schools and supplement the health, mathematics, science, history, Maori, and social studies curricula by developing a community veggie patch on school gorunds.Simple, eh?

    Oh, hang on . . .that’s right; a burger, chips and coke for lunch again. Thanks National Ltd® – I’m lovin’ it.

    • TightyRighty 6.1

      “Lets begin to create a generation of New Zealanders who care about what they eat. We can ban shit food from schools”

      and remove choices from kids they should learn how to make at school, that they will have to face anyway when they leave and hit the real world?

      you socialists, you are such a fun lot aren’t you? with so much faith in the rest of mankind to be as smart as you all are, it’s amazing electorates world wide rejected your form of politics.

      Anti-spam: order

      • BLiP 6.1.1

        Following that logic, lets put a cigarette machine in the 7th Form Common Room as well.

        • TightyRighty 6.1.1.1

          why don’t we ban games at lunchtime in case kids get injured. or should we make them compulsory in case they get fat? your addiction to legislation to change peoples habits is sickening. why can’t you just leave the kids to make up their own mind as to what’s right and wrong?

          • BLiP 6.1.1.1.1

            So, no objections from you to drug dealers visiting the school at lunch time, then?

          • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.1.2

            Because they’re kids that don’t know any better you moron.

            • TightyRighty 6.1.1.1.2.1

              when do people start knowing better then draco? i would have thought by 5 or 6, you know what treat food is if the parents are responsible. most kids only buy their lunch on a regular basis once they hit college anyway and they should definitely know the better wouldn’t you say? glad to see the nanny state alive and well despite being voted out.

              and blip, despite your facetiousness, you know you got pwned when you announced you wanted to ban stuff. So all you can do is try and make it look like i’m advocating something far worse than just giving kids a choice. at least i stick up for freedom, the banhammer is your crackpipe isn’t it?

              • felix

                There are all kinds of choices adults make for children.

                Please tell me you understand why.

              • BLiP

                The idea that children know the difference between right and wrong, what’s good and bad is, well, a bit creepy, really.

              • the sprout

                some people need to believe that to justify beating them

              • Draco T Bastard

                Yep, just proving, beyond reasonable doubt, that you’re a moron.

                Every child of 5 or 6 that I’ve ever met has refused to eat their veges.

                they should definitely know the better wouldn’t

                There’s a difference between should and do that you just don’t seem to be able to grasp.

    • JD Lloyd 6.2

      That’s right BLiP.

      It is fine for Politicians to tell parents what and how to feed their kids at school.

      But it’s wrong for politicians to start a debate over how and what medical procedures are funded.

      A very logical approach to life.

      Asking for more funding for almost everything is an very easy thing to do. Finding a way to fund it is alot more difficult and a question the left ignores.

      Kudos to TT once again for getting people talking about issues important to her.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.2.1

        Asking for more funding for almost everything is an very easy thing to do. Finding a way to fund it is alot more difficult and a question the left ignores.

        Actually, it’s the right that seem to ignore the idea of funding. They really don’t seem to appreciate the fact that the world is limited.

        • Armchair Critic 6.2.1.1

          “Actually, it’s the right that seem to ignore the idea of funding. They really don’t seem to appreciate the fact that the world is limited.”
          Transmission Gully, for example.

  7. Chess Player 7

    The community vege patch is a great idea, but hardly a new one, and several schools I know of already do this.

    There is, equally, nothing to stop each family creating their own vege patches at home either.

    What is needed is a change in attitude by people that have the problem to accepting they have as much, if not more, to do with implementing the solution(s) than others do such as health professionals.

    Good luck changing that attitude – the only thing I have found that works, personally, is leading by example…….

    But blaming National is not going to achieve anything….

    • felix 7.1

      There is, equally, nothing to stop each family creating their own vege patches at home either.

      In principle, yep. The main obstacle in practice is that a couple of generations of parents have no experience of this whatsoever and wouldn’t know where to start.

      Teaching their kids how to do it is not a bad way to get the ball rolling.

      • Chess Player 7.1.1

        My best advice in this area is to make friends with your “old” neighbours.

        They know heaps when it comes to gardening, because they usually had to do it themselves, and have all sorts of useful tips, which they are usually very pleased to share.

        The only downside to this I have found is that some of them are a little “spray happy” as opposed to taking a more organic approach, but there is still masses that can be learned – if people just lean over the fence and ask, rather than watching TV, for example.

        • felix 7.1.1.1

          Couldn’t agree more, the “oldies” next door are a goldmine of gardening knowledge, and the rewards of connecting go much further than the garden.

  8. LeeFluff 8

    It’s hard enough to balance a budget anyway, but since when was there any direct accountability between a raised tax, and expenditure on a specific item?
    It wouldn’t work… Road tax into public transport?, Smoking into health care?

    How would we fund Armed services, or education? – where is the ‘tax feeder’ for those?

    By all means – ask for a specialist committee opinion on the best bang for your buck on an expenditure issue, then get behind funding that issue. And, if you need more tax, look at the best way of raising those funds without hurting too many people too badly. But don’t directly equate the revenue streams… it’s not helpful, it’s limiting and it’s short sighted.

  9. PT 9

    but it is good that turia is thinking about where money is coming from to fund things rather than just ask for more spending, unlike the labour party who want to spend billions more and not think about who pays for it

    • snoozer 9.1

      Labour didn’t need to raise new taxes apart from the 39% rate it was elected on. It ran surpluses every year it was in government at the same time as improving services, and was actually able to cut corporate and income taxes by far more than National has.

      captcha – successfully

      • Chess Player 9.1.1

        “at the same time as improving services”

        In whose opinion?

        Not the voters at the last election, for sure….

        The run down of the national electricity supply network, as indicated by last night’s power cut over the most populous portion of the North Island, is only the tip of iceberg…plenty of other chicken out there like Transpower that will soon start to come home to roost…are Goff and co going to clean that mess up?

        • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1.1

          Electricity isn’t a government service and hasn’t been for some time.

        • Craig Glen Eden 9.1.1.2

          Electricity reform was Nationals stuff up actually Chess Player you seem to have forgotten Mad Max Bradford’s little effort. Nor was Labour’s policy rejected by the electorate hence National having to swallow dead rats!

          Just a reminder before Labour was in we had a massive nursing shortage, Junior Doctor shortage, Teacher shortage, Social worker shortage, the fire service was under constant attach. Wages were low for our soldiers oh and unemployment was at 7.6 percent.

          But go a head Chess Player continue your delusion in your board game world.

          • Chess Player 9.1.1.2.1

            Nope, I haven’t forgotten Max Bradford’s role in breaking up the electricity sector, and nor have I forgotten the fact that even though everyone knew it was a stuff up, no-one, including your Labour mates, who had the power for 9 years, actually did anything about fixing it.

            It’s almost like Labour decided that they would not fix the problem, on principle, so that it was still there when National (inevitably) got back in. Very mature behaviour…

            Tertiary education is another glaring time bomb. Labour could have done something about that in the 9 years they had, but again they chose to simply tinker around the edges by making changes to the interest on the loans but not addressing the fundamentals.

            And don’t worry, if, after 9 years National haven’t sorted these areas out I will be as anti them as I am current anti Goff and his mates.

            You seem think I am some kind of National supporter but that’s your own delusion, I guess…

            • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1.2.1.1

              It’s almost like Labour decided that they would not fix the problem,

              Labour are still working with the delusional Chicago School of economics. So is National except that they’ve taken it to an even more delusional extreme.

  10. infused 10

    Or she could have just got off her ass, started eating right and it would have corrected its self. Having this operation is not reversible. Good luck trying to eat anything nice for the rest of her life.

  11. Tigger 11

    Stomach stapling (versus a gastric band which I assume didn’t occur here) is dangerous. It’s not an easy operation. And it requires the patient to adhere to a diet afterwards. If people can’t diet to control their diabetes before this thing then how on earth are they going to diet after the operation? And all that after we’ve paid to have their stomach stapled. Not against it per se, but where are the facts here?

    By the way – the article says Turia has ‘shaken off her diabetes’. Last time I looked this didn’t cure diabetes so any wording that even implies that is incredibly dangerous.

    This type of hype from an Associate Health Minister is utterly terrifying. Did she have this done privately? Was their a deal done? Because how else to explain such wilful ignorance of the facts, such a bizarre sales pitch for a very dangerous operation?

  12. the sprout 12

    Wow, stomach stapling cured diabetes!?
    That would be a world first.

  13. gitmo 13

    Banned again ?

    Oh good oh ……. enjoy your lovely echo chamber

  14. randal 14

    tt’s style seems to be that of a natural born bully.
    I see a randy newman moment here but I dont wish to offend any fat people.
    Its their choice.

  15. illuminatedtiger 15

    Is going out for a run and eating right a concept too far for these people to grasp?

  16. Jenny 16

    When a litre of coke is cheaper than a litre of milk. And chips and other so called snack junk food is cheaper than fruit.

    The Maori Party private members bill to remove GST from healthy foods makes a lot of sense.

    The Labour Party need to change from opposing this measure, to supporting it, when it comes up in the ballot

    If the Labour Party can not get over their sectarian hatred of anything, coming from the Maori Party they will be doomed to be in opposition for another term.

    • Chess Player 16.1

      I suspect many folks on the left would prefer that.

      More time to let Goff get over himself and for them to polish up that union guy at the saviour of the world.

  17. peterthepeasant 17

    Stomach stapling prevents, reduces T2 diabetes?
    Since when?
    T2 diabetes is is a result of gross abuse of the pancreas brought about by
    excessive relentless consumption of carbohydrate.

    Stomach stapling merely limits the quantity of food eaten.

    Pancreas abuse does not stop.

    But, hey, since when has facts ever interested Tariana?

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