You’ll go far my son

Northcote shopping mall, 2010 - are you worried yet?
Northcote shopping mall, 2010 - are you worried yet? | Source

Go far?

Well you certainly will if you are seeking good medical treatment at a reasonable price and within an appropriate time-frame.

It is a bit of a telltale sign when the person little Jianqi has chosen to be the Minister of our (Ill) Health System is also the Minister for State Owned Enterprises. And what is Toenail the Vyle planning to do with our SOEs? That’s right sell them down the river and he is trying his absolute bestest (Honestly he is, leader) to bring the health service to its knees so the private sector can cherry pick the sick. Of course they will only want the ones who can pay, so the poor will die, which is good because those with no money are no good to our economy.

Whoever said eat the rich had it wrong. Eat the poor; they’re apparently no good for anything else according to the Natzional Party. It should be no surprise to anyone that this Government is running down social services while trying to create the opposite impression.

Take the “Brighter Future’ policy where a 120 point Economic Development Action Plan has been created.

Point number one is to create an investment fund with the money derived from the sale of assets that are worth much more than what we will get for them.

· The next five points are all to do with building more roads, most of which it seems will be called Rons. It occurs to me it could be a tad confusing have a whole pile of roads called Ron but that’s the Government’s plan.

· Points seven to nine are about putting more money into the rail networks, although it is noticeable they have budgeted less than 25 percent of what they are to put into roads for this purpose. Interestingly as a result of this ‘generous’ financial boost (or perhaps because it is such a small drop in the bucket), KiwiRail are now planning to axe 220 jobs. The given reason is that they have to save $200M over the next three years. Quite how this ties in with the $750M the Government plans to give KiwiRail to ‘turn it around’ (I thought they used a turntable for that) is unclear.

· The next four are about communications and we learn of their pipe-dreams about rolling out ultra fast broadband and completing the digital television switchover. Closer inspection of this part of the master plan reveals that even relying upon their planned activity rural broadband will still be elusive until 2015. Meanwhile large numbers of the citizenry including this particular citizen who only lives 10 minutes from the CBD of his city can’t even get mobile phone coverage. I have to go up the street about half a kilometre before I can get anything apart from texts.

· Point 14 is a real beauty. Here we learn how the Government will chuck in $3.9B to Transpower to improve the National Grid for all those new power company owners.

· It is not until point 15 that we get the first sign of anything that might benefit those in most need. Here we get more fluffy PR about warming up Kiwi houses which the Green Party actually shamed them into doing.

· Point 17 breathlessly tells us of the $1.75B they will give to DHBs to spend over the next three years. A sum equivalent to an annual increase in funding of a whopping 4.5 percent of the entire Health Ministry budget for the year 2010/2011.

· Mention is made in point 18 of $1.5B, but closer inspection reveals this is a guess at how much they will pull from point 1 to this location. No details are given about the time-frame over which these funds will be dispersed.

Relax; I am not going to list every one of these 120 points. I reckon the first 18 are all we need for now. But if you are with me so far you will be starting to realise that this 120 point Economic Development Action Plan is the usual puffery without anything meaningful at all.

The fact is the Government is running down our valuable services such as health and making access to decent care either unaffordable or unrealistic.

For example waiting lists are being artificially jiggered with by hospital staff deeming patients they have not even seen to be not worthy of a consultation. The result is these people simply fall through the cracks until their condition deteriorates to the point where they require far more costly procedures than they would have if they were seen in a ‘timely fashion’. People with painful varicose veins that could be easily cured with a comparatively cheap procedure but have been told they can’t get an appointment with a specialist until they ulcerate.

Others are simply given appointments at hospitals that involve major journeys for them to access their care. Many thousands of people who require a simple diagnostic procedure which that is available at Tauranga Hospital are being referred to Whakatane Hospital over a hundred kilometres away.

Rather than calling their campaign a Brighter Future, the Natzis should have called it You’ll go far my son or YGFMS (in these days of initials).

Why?

Because many people are already leaving our shores and many more will follow as a direct result of the ‘governance’ of this land.

Because if you need medical treatment you’ll have to be prepared to travel to a facility in another town even when your own town already has two such facilities available.

Because if you are a rural resident you will have to tramp halfway to town to get any broadband or mobile phone coverage.

But hey, they’re building plenty of roads for you to travel thereon.

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