Declined for Surgery by both ACC and the Health Board
RBNZ: Relationship with Media Changing

Green Party's Kevin Hague Says Get Rid of Private Healthcare

Stuff reported this: 'Green Party health spokesman Kevin Hague said he would get rid of private healthcare altogether' in an article about health funding by Cate Broughton and Ashleigh Stewart. 

I have heard arguments before that the presence of a vigorous private health system makes public health care more expensive. I have never seen any detailed analysis to back this up. My gut feeling is that private health-care contributes to total health spending, taking some pressure off the public system and enabling more specialists, treatments, and technology to be retained in new Zealand than would otherwise be the case.

Unless the state can guarantee to fund every treatment that anybody wants it would create the intolerable situation of the state choosing not to provide a treatment but banning a person from obtaining the treatment themselves. What about cosmetic procedures? Would the state become the only provider of those? Or would they be permitted? Even if they were permitted there would be the strange situation of being able to, say, get a face-lift privately but being prohibited from buying Keytruda. The situation becomes even more strange when you line it up alongside the logical and humane support for the availability of marijuana for medically indicated pain relief. Imagine being able to buy weed but not, say, the latest arthritis drugs. That just doesn't look right. 

Incidentally the article has some good material - dealing with questions of funding and the cost-benefit of treatment. Well worth a look. 


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