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The Forum > Article Comments > Lack of GPs and other great health debate myths > Comments

Lack of GPs and other great health debate myths : Comments

By Jeremy Sammut, published 10/3/2008

The states donít want to have to pick a fight over hospital reform with their political allies in the health bureaucracies and unions.

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Jeremy Sammut :

Just a brief observation, do you think that the re-instatement of hospital boards (at least in the large teaching hospitals) would be beneficial.

Boards should be chaired by distinguished local individuals in diverse field such as business, law, universities and trade unions. The appointed individuals should have a proven reputation for public or community service.
Board members, in addition to lay persons, should consist of an elected sprinkling of elected members from senior, nursing and scientific staff etc. of the hospital. Election should be limited to three years.

Do you agree that a well run board would do much to improve staff moral; be active in raising funds from local sources; and strive towards excellence?
Posted by anti-green, Monday, 10 March 2008 11:55:27 AM
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Interesting article. In my opinion there is unliklely to currently be a lack of GPs, although that may be so in the future.
In the last decade or so, in Queensland at least, the government severely curtailed the activities of Outpatient departments. They didn't like outpatients because they felt that if a patient was seen, they would likely end up admitted to hospital sooner or later. So, let's stop patients being seen - that'll keep the surgical waiting lists down. The problem was that the patient was referred because the GP couldn't manage their problem anymore - so, eventually they got so sick they had to present to the emergency department, and they were now MUCH sicker than they were originally - and so cost MUCH more money and time to care for.
The federal government wants GPs to do 'preventative' medicine!
GPs can't stop people from getting sick, everyone gets sick eventually, since we are not immortal. Eventually patients are going to have something that a GP can't look after.

What the system needs is a well funded EFFICIENT outpatients system, that can see patients referred from their GPs early in their illness, with a good management plan, and return them to the care of their GP. Then, when they need to get their operation done, it should be early, not late, when their health is optimal for recovering from an operation.
Posted by 2 dots, Monday, 10 March 2008 8:17:09 PM
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Interesting. This blaming of lack of service on a lack of skills seems to be prevalent across a lot of industries. Being organised takes time and manpower, something which always equates to money.
Posted by savoir68, Monday, 10 March 2008 9:46:43 PM
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I watched Michael Moore's documentary SICKO (Health care in the U.S compared to other western countries) the other night -- and yes, I'm aware he can be prone to exaggeration at times -- but something one French person had to say has stayed with me.

He said that the reason health care is so good in France is that the government is scared of the people. Not like in the U.S. where the people are scared of the government.

I think Australians are scared of our own governments state and federal. We are worried about what the government can decide to take away from us next.

I was watching in the documentary, people marching in the streets in France (and yes, I know we see French 'riots' but not all French demonstrations turn into riots -- we just aren't shown them on tv (not considered 'news,' I guess, unless there's a riot) and it wasn't only students demonstrating. The police had their own demonstration. French people will debate, get out on the streets and demonstrate and generally let the government know when they are not happy with any of their policies. This is my impression. They are not frightened of their government.

I believe this helps keep government answerable to the people.
My grandfather, long deceased, lived in a small country town and used to go to all 'meetings' at which politicians turned up. He felt that his opinion counted as did other members of his country town.

I believe Australians have become apathetic and frightened in what I believe is now a goverment initiated "Culture of Fear." Keeping us frightened takes away our feelings of power.

Ultimately the people of Australia hold the power and governments know this and work hard to keep us from realizing it and acting on it in peaceful ways. Non-violent demonstrations etc.

Where is the opposition? It's not in our governments -- at a state or federal level, anymore. The power of opposition lies with us, if only we'd realize it.

blueskies
Posted by blueskies, Tuesday, 11 March 2008 12:00:42 PM
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