Tuesday, 21 October 2008

The "human face" of New Zealand's socialist medical system

The Herald has three more tales showing the "human face" of New Zealand's socialist medical system:

Patient 1 - Aug 2006: A suspected retinal detachment in Whangarei is referred to specialists at Auckland DHB.
Ten days later: No word from Auckland; patient asks Whangarei doctor to follow up. Auckland confirm they have the referral.
Feb 2007: Still no action from Auckland. Patient again asks doctor what is happening. By then the condition has worsened too much for the treatment.
Nov 2007: Patient's left eye is removed.

Patient 2 - Aug 2006: Patient found to have narrowing of arteries after a minor stroke.
Dec 2006: MidCentral DHB (Palmerston North) surgeon refers patient to a specialist at Capital and Coast DHB.
Oct 2007: Patient asks for update, discovers Capital and Coast has no record of the referral. Another referral made.
Nov 2007: Capital and Coast DHB has no record of second referral. Patient has a second, more serious stroke.

Patient 3 - May 2007: Patient discovers blood in his urine, tells GP. Tests indicate possibility of prostate cancer. Patient is referred to Counties Manukau DHB.
The health board misplaces the referral.
Six weeks after the referral was sent it is actioned. Patient prioritised as needing review in four to six weeks.
Oct 2007: Only after GP asks health board why nothing has happened is the patient reviewed. He is diagnosed with prostate cancer. It had already spread to his bone.

As Liberty Scott says, this "are not the sort of thing Michael Moore describes when he waxes lyrically about how socialised health care is so wonderful," but it is what characterises socialised medicine -- and I know several NOT PC readers with your own horror stories who can easily easily confirm these cases are not unique.

Can someone tell me why New Zealanders put up with being stolen from to fund this die-while-you-wait monstrousness.


  1. PC: Why New Zealanders put up with

    Let me give the reasons I think are most commonly held:

    1. It won't happen to me.

    2. If the government doesn't provide health, no one will.

    3. Afraid you can't pay private hospital bills. At least with the government you get something. Better than nothing.

    4. At least we're not America with their awful health for the rich only.

    With such bias, a crash change like the Libertarianz like to see will never be voted for.

  2. It had already spread to his bone.

    he died, btw. Killed by Helen as surely has if she had put a glock to his head and pulled the trigger.

    The National/ACT government should be them on trial for murder.


  3. With such bias, a crash change like the Libertarianz like to see will never be voted for.

    of course it will never be voted for.

    the question is whether someone will be elected who will do it anyway - and thus save the economy

    or whether the economy will be destroyed and take the "dealth" system down with it.

    A vote for anyone other than ACT is a vote for option 2. Frankly ACT's stupid voucher system is a vote for option 2. But ACT at least have the sense and integrity to offer option 2 (vouchers) and deliver option 1: the total and immediate elimination of the dealth system in NZ.

  4. PC, that's not the worst of it. According to TRN this morning, the Health & Disability Coordinator - whatever the hell that means - has, as a result of these three stories, called for an apology to those concerned and for the hospitals to overhaul their systems to ensure it never happens again.

    That was the extent of it. Pathetic.

    Berend: the points you make are quite valid. But only a fool would expect a "crash change" given our entrenched socialist history. Any change would be transitional - which is why we support all *measures that call for less regulation.

    *Not to be confused with idiot calls for more regulation to address excessive regulation.

  5. richard mcgrath21 Oct 2008, 10:33:00

    I had a patient recently that had been referred by me URGENTLY in writing to the local surgical outpatient at the public hospital, still not seen three weeks later. Happens not infrequently.

    Private practitioners against whom a complaint is made to the HDC have to endure a sadistically drawn-out process through multiple levels (Health and Disability Commissioner, Medical Council, Human Rights Review Tribunal, Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal, and possibly the District/High Court).

    When a DHB screws up, the CEO is asked to apologise. No bureaucrats are ever made accountable.

  6. My mum was one fo the victimes of the National Women's "Unfortunate Experiment"...

    Socialised healthcare at its best.

    With ACC taking away the right to sue.

  7. sus, I agree. That's why I vote for ACT. With the taxpayer's bill of rights, we stop the growth of government, I think that would be a first in the "civilized" first. If we grow the economy, the government would become smaller relative to the rest of the economy.

    You just have to show people there are better ways, and that can only go by small steps.

  8. There is a good part to the New Zealand socialised healthcare system. It kills a lot of its own believers.


  9. If we grow the economy, the government would become smaller relative to the rest of the economy.

    Berend - there is no way in hell, whoever gets in, that the NZ economy is going to grow for the next 5-10 years. What we have to do now is contain the damage where that is possible (basically Fonterra, wine & tourism) and wipe out everything else as quickly as possible.

    National's minibudget will at least make a start on this: Labour will accelerate the collapse!

    You just have to show people there are better ways, and that can only go by small steps.

    Crap, Berend, crap. Give me one example where that has every, every worked! What you have to do is change the circumstances as quickly as possible: winners will adapted, losers will go to the wall.

  10. One leetle way things could improve is to make health insurance premiums tax-deductible. After all, us wot 'ave 'em, are paying twice over for health-related expenses.

    But insuring oneself is just plain good sense. Access to instant, professional knife-wielders and ray-gun aimers is well underrated, IMHO.

    And, get this, you can actually nominate your surgeon! After, of course, a thorough interrogation as to recent case histories.

    In the Glorious Public Sector (if you've escaped Death by Misplacement of Paper, by Entanglement with a Doctor's Strike, by Being Mislaid on a Gurney in a Corridor, or by Being Re-graded and asked to Wait for Funding), it's 'Next!'

  11. Waymad

    That might work for elective surgery. In NZ anything really serious, or complex, or chronic, inevitably requires you use the public system.

    Oh well.


  12. Berend

    Why would you vote for something you don't agree with? That is, why vote for big government socialists? I'm curious, I thought you were a freedom loving person.



  13. That might work for elective surgery. In NZ anything really serious, or complex, or chronic, inevitably
    requires you use the public system.

    Look it's really simple. Either you demolish the public heath system now, immediately, and have a chance at saving a private health system for people who choose to take care of themselves ---

    or the whole lot will fail and NZ will be left with no health system whatsoever. That is why ACT should insist (whatever it says) on just switching off the life-support. By Key's minibudget, it will be clear to all hardworking taxpaying New Zealanders that this is what is absolutely required.

    Douglas didn't dare attempt it; Richardson started by her courage failed her. Douglas wisely isn't saying this is what he would do - but it is absolutely what needs to happen!

    Why would you vote for something you don't agree with? That is, why vote for big government socialists? I'm curious, I thought you were a freedom loving person.

    What has voting go to do with freedom?

  14. Before WW2 we basically had just private medicine. Socialised medicine is a relatively recent thing.

    And frankly, one should be very careful about deifying our returned soldiers because they demanded and got the wholesale socialist claptrap we now live with. All part of the great "social laboratory" for which NZ is famous.


  15. Anonymous

    If you are not prepared to support freedom then you don't deserve to have it and in the end you are not going to attain it.

    When it comes to a vote, all one has to do is make a few marks on a piece of paper. There is no commissar or secret policeman staring over your shoulder with a gun at your back to ensure you make the correct mark to support the status quo. There is no personal cost against you for failing to vote for the present regime. There is nobody forcing you or coercing you to vote for more of the same socialist crap that NZ has had for several generations now.... and yet that's what people do, vote back the same failures as before. How odd.

    I can understand why people refuse to vote. There are good reasons and powerful arguments in favour of that approach. What is completely impossible to justify are those who spend their vote on supporting anti-freedom. Why would you vote for the antithesis of that which you value (or claim to value)?

    Now I was asking Berend de Boer about why he was voting ACT when they have gone on the record as stating they would not be altering the present set-up. Fundamentally all they propose is not to grow the government quite as fast as Labour did. But they still support compulsion, regulation, socialised healthcare, socialised money, socialised banking, socialised education, socialised welfare (or rather the perpetuation of the present un-welafre system), socialised bluddy everydam thing in the country really. Not one thing have they said they'd undo. In fact they've promised the opposite. That is definately not pro-freedom at all.

    Given your comments regarding a complete dismantling of the public health system (which would be the correct thing to do), then the only party aligned with your policy is presumably going to be the one you vote for. That would be the Libertarianz.


  16. The dollar wasn't floated in small steps.

    But "big-bang" won't work for everything. LGM: trying to at least move the debate centre-right, rather than have it stalled at left of centre-left, is the idea behind voting ACT.

    Just as workers won't stand for a nominal pay cut, but seem fine with pay increases 2% behind inflation.

  17. You just have to show people there are better ways, and that can only go by small steps.

    "Gradualism in theory is perpetuity in practice"

  18. So what happens to you if you're too poor to pay health insurance?

    You people make me feel physically sick.

  19. For all of you operating under false assumptions about the American health care system, let me update your database. NOBODY goes without health care in the US. We have Medicaid for the poor, Medicare for the elderly, endless programs and handouts and we even have a law that forbids any hospital from refusing someone in the emergency room. So, even illegal aliens can receive health care. It may not always be the top tier of care but it is always competent because our doctors and hospitals work under the constant fear of a medical malpractice lawsuit. That and all this government intrusion is why it is so darn expensive. You all can have your gov't managed/run systems, I prefer to have my life and death decisions made by me and my doctor, period. I don't need my "master's" permission to save my own life.

  20. This comment has been removed by the author.

  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

  22. Really Rick, where is my health care? I lost my job, for my wife to put me on her insurance would cost us over $900 a month..that's for 2 people. Independent Health insurance will cost me $600, and according to the government, even with only one income, we make too much to take advantage of Medecaid. And COBRA has expired. Sure I can walk (or roll) into an ER and get treated, but I sure can't afford that bill. But you see that's one of the underlying problems. People wait until the last minute to get treated because they have no insurance....and that drives up costs. Along with insurance companies being able to pick and choose what ailments they treat. (Sorry! Previous conditions aren't our responsibility!) Let's not even get started on the Pharm Companies. Our system in the U.S. is far from perfect, god forbid I get something as simple as Strep, and develop Rheumatic fever in the next few months. Then what?? No matter where people live there will always be pro's and con's to their health system. I'm not sure where I'd want to be in this situation. On one hand( In NZ) IT sure would be horrible if something tragic happened (Heart Surgery, Transplant etc...) but at least I could get some Antibiotics to prevent the smaller problems.

  23. Nowhere in this blog or comment section has anyone identified the point of failure. Will NZ Socialism really have me believe that we can track a piece of paper via mail but not in a billion dollar Govt run Healthcare system?

    The error is human. Someone forgot, misplaced or didn't care about the administrative job for which they were hired. Find that person and either fire them, or take them to personally apologize to the grieving families.

    Socialism in NZ has bred nothing but apathy and incompetence. Couple our belief of "she'll be right!" with job protectionism and you have a perfect model for a 3rd world healthcare system.

    We want to blame the "system" when in truth "people" run the system at the lowest level - people you probably even know. We are too scared to address incompetence and fire people - because it might "hurt their feelings." Do we truly want apathetic office workers making life and death decisions? If we do, then shouldn't they be visible and not able to hide in "the system?"

  24. "Find that person and either fire them,"

    Finding that person would be the managers' job, but they likely "didn't care [enough] about the administrative job for which they were hired."


1. Commenters are welcome and invited.
2. All comments are moderated. Off-topic grandstanding, spam, and gibberish will be ignored. Tu quoque will be moderated.
3. Read the post before you comment. Challenge facts, but don't simply ignore them.
4. Use a name. If it's important enough to say, it's important enough to put a name to.
5. Above all: Act with honour. Say what you mean, and mean what you say.