Democrats for Social Credit are committed to:
• A publicly-funded, accessible, comprehensive health care system.
• Publicly-funded aged care facilities.
• Public health education programmes.
• Accessible, affordable community health services.
• Policies that apply to mental as well as physical health.
• Banning the advertising of harmful substances.
• The formation and funding of a New Zealand Medical Institute, to research ways to improve health in New Zealand.
• Alternative medicines and care, Government funded where registered and contracted to the Health Department.
• Voluntary organisations in the provision of health care.
• The individual’s right to refuse medication or life support.
One of the basic necessities is access to health care. Illness can strike at any time, but is more prevalent where there is low income, poor nutrition and overcrowding. Medical costs, which tend to arrive unexpectedly and in large amounts, can absorb already meagre food budgets, deepening family distress. Statistics NZ has identified a trend of increasing ‘avoidable hospital admissions’ among the most disadvantaged population groups, which suggests that for some, Maori and Pacific people in particular, there is inadequate access to primary health care.
A fully funded health service, from primary care through to major surgery and rehabilitation, will reduce family expenses and stress considerably. In addition, a comprehensive primary health service accessible to all will go a long way towards establishing good health practices and identifying problems early, reducing overall health spending. Hospital health care, with all the attendant overhead costs, is by far the most expensive way to treat illness.
Hospitals will be fully staffed and run by health professionals for the benefit of patients, rather than by highly paid business managers with an eye on the budget. Surgery waiting lists will be cleared. Health research funding will be available as required. There will be enough hospital beds in wards, and local hospitals may be re-established in smaller towns and rural centres to further strengthen communities and reduce our carbon footprint.
Funding a comprehensive health system will be accomplished in a range of ways, using money creation and lending tools. Health infrastructure - hospitals, clinics, technology - may be funded as interest-free loans through local bodies. The services provided through that infrastructure may be funded by both taxation and debt-free funding, the ratio to be determined by the RBMA from year to year.
David Tranter, Health Spokesman