Monday, April 16, 2007

Want a better health 'system' ? Vote LDP:

The current "system" is precisely that - a massive bureaucracy of regulations, constraints, regulations and licensing, heavily funded by taxes and encumbered with massive administration costs.

What the Liberal Democratic Party have proposed, in their draft policy, is a much better outcome driven by free market solutions, so instead of a monolithic system, you will have a more diverse market emerging which will benefit millions of consumers.

Some of the problems with the status quo are covered:

What Australia has is a system in which health costs are escalating faster than anything else and absorbing an inordinate amount of resources, while failing to meet the expectations of health care consumers.

It is a mixed public private system of health care delivery in which the public system is dominant. In theory, the private system is designed to permit access to those who are prepared to pay and to services that the public system is unable to provide. However, like the public system, the private system is so heavily regulated and controlled by government that it is unable to meet that need.
As a result the treatment decisions that doctors, administrators and consumers make are heavily influenced by the financial constraints and political agenda imposed by government. Further, since health care is only one of the services for which government has assumed responsibility, funding is dependent on government commitments in other areas of the budget.

And the LDP policy also acknowledges the current system also represents vote-buying efforts of politicians eager to secure support amongst minority special interest groups:
In determining its health care priorities, government is advised by a large group of professionals who have vested personal interests in gaining access to whatever funds are available. At the same time government is influenced by large numbers of community special interest groups whose votes are purchased in exchange for funding.
S0me of the moral hazards associated with universal health care are discussed:
Since government pays for most of the costs of poor health, people have a reduced incentive to take greater personal responsibility for their lifestyle choices and may risk more in the knowledge that the public system will cover their costs. Government then feels obliged to forbid these choices and legislate to prevent risky behaviour, infringing on personal liberty.
Here are some of the regulations that should be scrapped:

The LDP would take steps to create a more competitive market in the supply of medical professionals.

A significant contributor to the high cost of medical treatment in Australia has been the success of lobby groups in restricting the number of practitioners licensed to operate. The NSW Government has repeatedly complained that the Royal College of Surgeons deliberately restricts the number of trainees in order to limit competition. The Australian Medical Association also resists attempts to allow other allied health professionals such as pharmacists and nurses to provide basic health services.


The LDP would reform access to pharmaceuticals so that pharmaceutical prices were deregulated but consumers were able to maintain access to high priced products through insurance.

Pharmaceutical companies would set their prices according to market forces – encouraging innovation by producers and the appearance of a wider range of products on the Australian market.
If you are convinced that the LDP represents a positive innovation and a new direction from the last 40 years of statism and socialised health, then join the LDP !