Friday, July 01, 2005

Cheaper Healthcare for Young NZers

Improvements to primary healthcare have been one of the governments biggest achievements IMHO.

Todays rollout of cheaper healthcare for 18-24 year olds enrolled in a Primary Health Organisation (PHO) is another step towards delivering affordable, accessible, and integrated healthcare for all New Zealanders.

Already, all people in low socio economic areas as well as under 18s and over 65s (anywhere)enrolled in a PHO, benefit from increased funding which has reduced doctors fees and prescription charges. The next step will be to deliver increased funding to 45-64 year olds, and then finally to 25-44 year olds (apparently we're the healthiest of the lot).

The figures in the above link show that 12636 18-24 year olds will benefit in the Counties Manukau DHB which covers Pakuranga. Given that most other parts of Counties Manukau will already be covered by increased funding due to their lowere socio-economic status, my guess is that a very large portion of that 12636 probably reside in Pakuranga. That's good news for locals.

What is National's commitment to maintaining PHO's and cheaper primary healthcare? Seriously, does anyone know - their Health spokesperson is basically invisible.

25 comments:

Whaleoil said...

Cheaper for who, they paid for this healthcare with the tax money stolen rom us in great excess. it isn't cheaper at all, the focus is changed.

Anonymous said...

"the focus is changed"

It's called redistribution!, and it's a good thing.

And, New Zealand is not highly taxed at all by OECD standards, and to boot we're about the freest economy in the OECD bar Hong Kong and Singapore.

spooks said...

Then why are successful New Zealanders leaving at the rate of 600 per week?

Whaleoil said...

So clearly you agree the health care is not cheaper....and pray tell how is redistribution better, in order to redistribute you need bureaucracy which sucks up money, better to leave it in the punters pocket.

Whaleoil said...

And another thing, since you like to use the OECD, if you compare the take home pay after being "not highly taxed" you will see a massive difference. Especially if you compare us to the top half of the OECD.
New Zealanders are highly taxed as percentage of GDP.

Anonymous said...

well, the figures dispute that last claim - you might want to check purchasing power parities....

Anonymous said...

Primary health care is getting cheaper, and by the time the policy is rolled out in full it will cover everyone in the population whose general practitioner belongs to a PHO (virtually all, and the distinction between interim and access PHOs will fall away over time)

You're probably right to the extent that a number of individual higher income earners would do better out of tax cuts, even they then had to pay the higher doctor's fees. But few high-earning individuals are an island -with the apparent exception of a few rightist free-marketeers - and even that advantage would decline once the lower fees for the primary health care of their children, sick and elderly relatives, etc, etc is taken into account.

The policy has been well planned and staged and is affordable, should produce long-run health benefits - and cost savings - and is most at threat from a change to a government of the mad-cap right. But in this as in many areas, National has no apparent policy to overturn what Labour has done. It either agrees with it, or has no idea what to replace it with, or is deceiving the public.

spooks said...

"National either agrees with Labour, or has no idea what to replace it with, or is deceiving the public"

What was that again, Mikey, about me supposedly posting vague generalsations? And what was that again about a dirty campaign?

Pot calling the kettle black, dude.

By the way, I am far from rich, far, far from rich, and I expect your token PHO scheme to be worth about $100 a year to me. Gee thanks. Gee thanks for over-taxing the average family $5,000 a year to give them back a few hundred dollars worth of doctor charges.

Anonymous said...

What is National's health policy?


Is that specific enough?

Anonymous said...

Tell us how you arrive at that $5 000 figure spooks, and what is meant by the 'average family' in that instance...bearing in mind that the middle 60% of households have seen after tax and after inflation incomes rise by nearly 6% since 2001.

spooks said...

Tell us what you mean by the middle 60% of households Nony.

And you want to know Nats health policy, tell us an election date.

Anonymous said...

Statistics New Zealand's latest Household Economic Survey will provide that detail - it's their survey: my understanding is that it is the middle 60% of households by after tax and after inflation income, which would seem logical.....

Anonymous said...

the lack of an election date is the lamest excuse for no policy yet devised by humankind.
It's even lamer than the oldest bad excuse for no policy - "we can do it all by cutting red tape and waste..."

spooks said...

Naturally I disagree. But you have given me an interesting moot to comment on. So I take up the challenge.

It is National's responsibility to present policy to National supporters in sufficient time for those supporters to decide on how to make their vote. Those voters are not asking, not demanding, not requesting, not anything-ing the information YOU are fabricating a need for now. Perhaps I could ask you to explain (a) WHY you need it now, and (b) why YOU need it now.

National's duty to their supporters is to do what must be done to get elected. That means adopting an election strategy as well as policy. Part of that duty is to ensure they (a) do not swamp their supporters with all the information at once, and (b) give the most important information closest to the election date so it is fresh in the mind and remains fresh on election date. No different really, to what school teachers do as exam time approaches.

So, until a vote is imminent, National have no duty to anyone - much less to Labour.

National's duty is to National's supporters. National has no duty to the Labour Party. And it is only the Labour Party who are artificially beating this up in their smarmy Labour way. How about instead, getting on with something positive - that would be novel. How about you put your energies into presenting Labour plans, instead of displaying your frustration at not being able to do what you do best, namely bad-mouth the plans of others.

Negative, negative, negative, Labour, negative.

Anonymous said...

"It is National's responsibility to present policy to National SUPPORTERS in sufficient time for those supporters to DECIDE on how to make their vote".
So are they National supporters or are they undecided? If the latter they'd want some policy, wouldn't they?

The Conservative Party didn't have a manifesto to speak of in their recent election - just six or seven slogans in a large font 12 page glossy - is National heading for the same? I suspect so. These techniques are shared. Didn't do them much good.

Is there a full programme for government - or not? If not, they are not ready for government. If there is one, will they tell us, or hide it? If there is one, is there a duty for National to tell us? I think so.

spooks said...

Nony, you argue like a little girl. Present YOUR point of view by all means, not your nit-picking syllable-by-syllable critique of mine. Writing to meet your style is like walking on egg-shells - one knows what to expect with every word. You just proved my "Negative, negative, negative, Labour, negative".

Now again, as regards National's policies

(a) WHY you need it now?
(b) why YOU need it now?

I took up your challenge. Please accept mine and answer this.

Anonymous said...

I think most people would agree that a party that wants to dominate a government should present a comprehensive policy programme before the election.

spooks said...

Exactly, before what election?

Will you be taking up my challenge? Or was that it?

Anonymous said...

Yep.

Whaleoil said...

COmprehensive policy programme....like what?....mmmm.. a pledge card? Oh would that someone revisits that little handful of fibs.

Anonymous said...

ah but the manifesto the pledge card was based on was about an inch or so thick, the type of thing a responsible major party of government goes to the work and thought of producing....

spooks said...

And to think, Michael promised us that he does not post as "Anonymous". Didn't realise that these were Labour-promises, something akin to Labour-lies, Labour-spin, Labour-statistics, Labour-taxpayer funded-advertising. Can't believe any of it.

Notice how on this all-but-dead blog, doesn't get any contributions for a week, then within minutes of a comment, Nony turns up. You see, when someone posts a comment here, blogger emails the host.

So we have silence for a week, then Whaleoil posts, Blogger notifies Michael Wood, Nonymous posts. All within half an hour.

Funny that.

michael wood said...

If I had have known you were missing my posts so much Spooks I may have made more of an effort - I have unfortunately just had a very busy week!

And for the final time, I don't post anonymously on this or any other blog.

It's all very well to call Labour "negative", but all that you have actually done in above postings is to negatively criticise Labour's policies. What is your alternative?

spooks said...

Because of changing fortunes, Helen Clark has given us the longest election campaign in history. The Clark government started the rumblings of a July election weeks ago. Unfortunately, as those rumblings continue, Clark has had to defer things, because of the Budget political miscalculations.

The New Zealand public are understandably quite peeved by long election campaigns (the Aussies just had a six-week campaign they described that as "never-ending").

National's strategy, it seems to me (and I am not a politician) is to stay just out of the fray, and not be a willing contributor to the long endless campaign. It's Labour's doings, and it's Labour who will pay for this voter irritation. And one way for National to keep at the necessary arm's length is to say (figuratively) "what election?", and when Labour says "where's your policy?", National replies, "we don't need a policy until we have an election - are you still mucking us around with election dates? Can't you make even an easy decision like when to call an election? Simply matter like an election date, can't even do that, and you want to continue to run a country?"

So in answer to your question, Michael, where's the policy? Well, why? We will have policy in good time for an election. Are you still incapable of deciding on an elections date, Labour. Well, get your own house in order, and we will be ready for it, in good time for voters to decide.

spooks said...

Too long as usual, sorry.