In a number of threads people have brought up the idea that our existing publicly provided health system is fundamentally flawed and should be replaced by a privately provided healthcare system. Every time I read that argument I want to make a single (bold face) point:
The vast majority of our healthcare is provided by private providers.
The vast majority.
Take me for example, I see my GP (private provider), I have blood tests (private provider), scans (usually a private provider), take medication (private provider) and see a number of specialists (my main one is public but occasionally other public or private specialists). All except the specialists are private providers at least partly funded by the government. Â One specialist is a public provider entirely publicly funded.
The only surgery I ever had was in a private hospital fully funded by the government.
So why, if the current health system is so broken, does anyone think that private provision is the answer?
I can see three possible reasons National and Act are arguing for “private health provision”:
- Transfer the last of the public money to the private sector to create private sector profits for shareholders.
- They don’t mean “private provision” they mean “private funding”, they actually want to cut the government spend and rely on individuals funding their own healthcare. Advantageous for the wealthy (who already have health insurance and would benefit from the tax cuts), disastrous for the poor who can’t afford private cover or care and don’t get tax cuts from the Nats.
- Ideological blindness.
Two are awfully cynical and the other requires a level of stupidity I don’t believe they have, any other offers?