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The first thing I thought when I heard of the new surgical wait list criteria policy which includes ethnicity is that Labour wants to lose this election.
If their strategists didn't immediately see the risks in this policy then what are they doing in the job.
After an autumn full of racially tinged politics where it is obvious that that National and Labour are more than willing to hoe into any policy favouring Maori and Pacific Islanders, this should have been placed in the "not now, not ever" pile.
And I say not ever because this is fundamentally bad policy.
It asks doctors to award care based on race and not need which is against the fundamental tenet of providing care to everyone with no fear of favour.
From the Hippocratic Oath through to the Geneva Convention doctors are taught to treat people humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria.
But not in New Zealand. If the doctors are moaning about it then you know it's not kosher.
It has whole layers of racism. In the waiting list acquired by Newstalk ZB the person at the end of the list had been waiting the longest. And he was a Middle Eastern migrant. So now we all know who's at the bottom of the race rankings.
But while some dimwit might have thought they were doing good they obviously don't understand healthcare and inequity.
The inequity does not occur in the hospital but in the home. The negative outcomes for certain races stem from poverty, bad housing, fear of doctors and the state, bad diet, bad exercise, and smoking and drinking.
Surgery is the end of the healthcare process. It literally is the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff and not the fence at the top. By the stage you're needing to be operated on your condition has gone beyond your income or the colour of your skin.
Any competent politician should have seen how mad the policy is and the fact that it was sliding towards nationwide policy throws doubt on the competency of this government which has already been called into question countless times.
I'm just so amazed that they have blundered into this giant bear trap.
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