A market-based success story

Australia does have as near as I can tell the best healthcare system in the world. The other three I know best are the Canadian, the British and the American and they are not as good as ours. To understand the reason it has turned out so well goes back to the early days of the Fraser government (some detail here). Whitlam had put in Medibank/Medicare which was a socialised public-servant run system like the English. Fraser having promised to end Medibank of course found he could not (see the fate of Obamacare for a recent example of how hard it is to remove a freebie), so made one small change. He allowed private insurance to continue with a private sector system sitting side by side with the public. So rather than it becoming socialised medicine – if Labor had had its way, our system would have ended up like the English with no private hospitals – we have and retain possibly the most private-sector-driven government-funded health-care system in the world. You want to go to the doctor, just go to any doctor who will take you in. Want to roll up at a public hospital, they will treat you for free. Private insurance will sometimes buy you a shorter queue and perhaps a better doctor, but will also help subsidise the public system if you are treated in a public hospital.

What has also made a major difference is that the amounts paid into private insurance bring additional funding into the health-care system overall. No central government would be able to tax to the extent needed to keep the level of funding as high as it is, where we have both the public and the private system working in tandem. And there should be no doubt that if the result of buying private insurance meant that for privately-insured patients to get treated in a hospital they would have to pay additional amounts to what they already have paid in the Medicare Levy and their private insurance, that private insurance would virtually disappear.

So to Richard di Natale and his nonsense tweet having been treated in a public hospital:

Yet another Medicare success story.”

He typically shows his incomprehension of what has made the Australian health care system work so well, and that is the free market inclusion. That as a member of the “elite”, he would in any case have had the best there is, even in the disastrous Cuban medical system which the left pretends is the model system but may provide its ordinary citizens some of the worst health care of any country in the Americas.

BTW that chap lying in bed in the photo above is myself having been in hospital for the last few days and having been under astonishingly excellent treatment since the end of September for what might have been a major problem but which now looks under control. My gratitude to the staff at the Alfred here in Melbourne, and let me also put in a special good word to Gigi (a South Indian name in case Leslie Caron and Maurice Chevalier come to mind). Really as thorough and comprehensive a treatment as I could have hoped for.

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