Monday, August 20, 2007

Manifestly iniquitous

Beneficiaries get priority healthcare

Beneficiaries will be fast-tracked for operations and depression counselling under a $10 million-a-year Government scheme.

From September 24, sickness and invalid beneficiaries will be assessed by GPs and case managers to get priority treatment, such as counselling for depression and operations for hernias and varicose veins.

The Ministry of Social Development says fast-tracking procedures for beneficiaries should not push others off hospital waiting lists because funding is separate.


Firstly, this scheme isn't new despite having a new name, Working New Zealand. PATHS has been operating since early 2004 when it was piloted in South Auckland. At that time there were around 112,000 people on sickness or invalid benefits. Now there are 125,000 and they are still rolling it out around the country. As an exercise in curbing growth on these benefits it has been a complete failure. BUT there are individuals that have positively benefited from it.

If I were an MP I would be asking these questions;

Why is the government prepared to spend millions of dollars on private surgery and treatment for sickness and invalid beneficiaries but not on the thousands of other New Zealanders currently on waiting lists?

Shouldn't it be as least as important to fix people before they get so bad they are unable to work, and if not, why not?

Notwithstanding helping people back to work is a good idea, why do those on benefits have a greater entitlement to private surgery than those who are not?

Why are millions of dollars available in the Ministry of Social Development budget to alleviate pain and suffering through private surgery, but not in the Ministry of Health's budget?

From 2003, when these ideas were first mooted,

• ACT Party leader Richard Prebble agrees that it makes no financial sense to pay a welfare benefit to people who could return to work if they had an operation. But why stop there? Prebble: "If it makes sense for accident victims and sickness beneficiaries to have operations done more quickly and cheaply in private hospitals, they why not have the same service available to the rest of us?"

Isn't that what we are made to pay tax for?

3 comments:

Spam said...

The Ministry of Social Development says fast-tracking procedures for beneficiaries should not push others off hospital waiting lists because funding is separate.

So are we supposed to believe that the reason that there are waiting lists is ONLY lack of funding? Nothing to do with lack of doctors, nurses etc?

Reece said...

"Why is the government prepared to spend millions of dollars on private surgery and treatment for sickness and invalid beneficiaries but not on the thousands of other New Zealanders currently on waiting lists?"

Our current government needs to keep people down and dependent on them. It's quite a simple strategy: Make the populace financially dependent and they will have no choice but to keep voting them in.
Working For Families is another example. Money for nothing.
Instead of making people help themselves this current government keeps them reliant.
Once again, the hard-working taxpayer gets booted to the bottom of the food chain, while the govt helps themselves to our piggy banks.

Spam, the reason there is a lack of medicinal staff is BECAUSE of the lack of funding.
Sometimes I wish I were a beneficiary. Then I could get cheap doctors visits, subsidised childcare, and know that if my house burnt to the ground Mr and Mrs Working Class would foot the bill to put me in a new, furnished home.

Seamonkey Madness said...

Lindsay,

You really need to push this issue into the limelight. This is one of my bugbears with the current government - the lack of private/public partnership. And now this?

Slap me with a wet fish and call me Pete Hodgson. What a shambles