I’m always amazed at the number of Americans who seem to have fallen for first Hillary’s, then Obama’s, delusion of “Free Healthcare for Everyone!” So here’s a warning from an American-born Australian: Socialised/’Universal’ Health-Care is by necessity Rationed Health-Care. And, of course, it’s not really “free.”
Every day I see examples and hear anecdotes about this just in my home state of Western Australia. People with the financial resources “queue-jumping” and paying cash to buy themselves out of the “free” public system and those without financial resources being left behind. With some cancer drugs, for instance, costing up to $50,000/year, and high-tech equipment so very expensive for hospitals to purchase and maintain, who in their right mind wouldn’t have seen stories like this coming?
From The West Australian:
There is a looming crisis in WA cancer services because of an alarming shortage of medical specialists and equipment and long waiting lists for treatment such as chemotherapy, a damning independent review has found.
A Cancer Council-commissioned audit, prompted by patient complaints and funded partly by the WA Health Department, warns that unless urgent action is taken, the system could collapse within five years as it struggles to cope with an estimated 50,000 new cancer cases on top of the existing load.
The report, by University of New South Wales professor of radiation oncology Michael Barton, found that while cancer treatment in WA was usually of a high standard, inadequate facilities and staff shortages were major concerns. It also warned new cancer facilities such as those planned for the Fiona Stanley Hospital would not meet demand.
Professor Barton warned WA faced 10,000 new cancer cases a year, rising by three to four per cent a year, but facilities and equipment were unable to cope. Urgently needed equipment included five extra linear accelerators used for radiation therapy.
Facilities in public hospitals for chemotherapy patients were overcrowded, with patients often waiting many hours to be seen by a junior doctor for 10 or 15 minutes. Treatment areas at Royal Perth Hospital were “dangerously overcrowded”.
Some high-cost cancer treatments were available only to privately insured patients or those willing to pay. And patients living in rural areas were at greatest risk of missing out on vital treatment.
Now Western Australia is not some cash-strapped developing nation. We are in the midst of a minerals and energy boom the likes of which Australia has never seen, and our State (with about 2 million people to service) regularly runs budget surpluses of over $2 billion.
But in Western Australia you can see what happens when you have the double whammy of an incompetent Leftist (ALP) government and a Socialised Health-Care system.
So come on, Americans, think: Does any government, anywhere in the world, do such a stellar job on the things they’re already responsible for that you want them in charge of all of your health-care needs as well?
Repeat after me: Socialised/’Universal’ Health-Care is by necessity Rationed Health-Care.
And it’s more expensive, in more ways, than you might think.