|Prognosis - poor|
Outsourcing offshore is something that many of us struggle with. Getting
baby toys and sports shoes made by someone earning twenty cents an hour in an
Asian sweatshop clearly helps the family budgeting in both countries - so this
normally gets a big tick. IT outsourcing to India makes some of the
intellectual elites (okay, nerds) nervous, but this is more that outweighed by
the satisfaction of seeing Telstra employees lose their jobs. But when the
outsourcing becomes insourcing it can hit us at a very personal level.
In particular, something seems to have gone wrong in Canberra Hospital if
witnesses in the current Coroners Court are to be believed. The Communist Times reports that
doctor Prafulla Samant would not allow senior colleague Anne Leditschke to help
him as he struggled to get oxygen to critical patient Norman Ritchie for ten
minutes. The two doctors literally jostled over the patient as he turned blue,
and later died.
In his defense Doctor Samant stated that he had 15 years experience as
a doctor and anesthetist in India before coming to Canberra. Glad
we cleared that up - clearly he was actually better qualified for the
job. Anyway, we wouldn't want to hand over to a mere woman would we? She might
have had seniority, but they were both equally qualified for affirmative
action, and that's what counts.
'Doctors who don't speak English' is one of the most common
complaints from rural Australians, but city slickers are generally spared the
worst communication problems with their doctors. Cities are more desirable
places of work for doctors, and the urban hospitals tend to employ those with
an acceptable understanding of the Queen's English, and this tends to
keep out the Bombay blow-ins. Little 'mishaps' like the one in Canberra
Hospital can be inflicted on our country cousins and then blamed on long
distances, lack of resourcing or plain old country ignorance.
One of the much touted achievements of Australia's social democracy is
its comprehensive public health system - a system in which government, not patients,
choose the doctors in the public hospitals, and which has little accountability
to the public. Most people would be prepared to change their doctor if they
weren't satisfied with that doctor, but few would be willing to change their
vote if they weren't satisfied with their doctor.
And the solution will be obvious to the statists - we have to spend more
and more money on a failing
system. When private
enterprise fails to deliver it goes broke. When government enterprise fails, it
gets more money. And the system of 'universal' health care will be heralded as
a triumph of a compassionate progressive society.
The operation was a success, but the patient died.