Despite the fact that everybody everywhere is sick and tired of buck passing and blame shifting in politics, it seems to be all we are getting at the moment. In particular, the growing mountain of evidence to indicate that public hospitals are failing to provide the standard of care we should be entitled to expect is still being ignored by the NSW government. When pushed on the subject the Premier and the Health Minister will invariably cry poor and accuse the Commonwealth of starving them of funds. The Commonwealth, on the other hand, insists that they have paid every penny of the funds agreed to by the states, and that the states have failed to manage the health system effectively. The fact is they are both right. However, the claim by the states is a dummy pass. Whatever funds they have available, it is the responsibility of the states to DO something. The real problem is that instead of addressing the issues we have got more finger pointing and buck passing than ever before. And until the NSW Government recognizes that the massive Area Health Services bureaucracy is part of the problem no amount of additional funding is actually going to fix it. It’s clearly wrong to blame John Howard for the failure of our public hospitals, but things have reached the point where there is an expectation that he should fix it. Meanwhile, workchoices has disappeared from the front page… co-incidence? Or clever politics?
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