Friday, August 04, 2006

Speech by Minister for Health Ageing

Health Ageing
Originally uploaded by Sydney Weasel.
A Press Club address is a rare chance to tell hundreds of thousands of TV viewers what the Government has done, what the Government is doing and what the Government plans to do next. It’s also an opportunity to explain the thinking behind the Government’s decisions to an audience which understands politics.

Almost every opinion poll rates health as the public’s most important issue. Health stories are a media staple yet, compared to (say) workplace relations, health attracts little philosophical controversy. The political argument is usually over funding (which, almost by definition, is never enough) or capacity for human error (to which all systems are prone). It’s instructive (and for the Commonwealth Government somewhat reassuring) that proposals to change the health system, rather than keep it essentially as it is, are the ones that generate the most political controversy. In health, people want problems solved. They don’t want systems changed unless, of course, there’s something fundamentally wrong with them, which is not currently the case with the health services for which the Commonwealth has principal responsibility.
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