Dumb and dumber!

Ed, The current GST debate is an interesting insight into the shallow thought process engaged by some State Premiers. The argument they use to support the contention that GST should be increased seems to centre on the skyrocketing cost of health care. Wouldn’t it be a more intelligent approach to first analyse the actual cause of the increasing costs and develop strategies to reduce those costs before resorting to increase taxes to meet them? Just to start the ball rolling: if a patient has a recurring requirement to visit a Specialist it is usually at the direction of the Specialist eg., an annual check on a cardiac implant or ongoing Oncology monitoring of a cancer patient. Why then does the patient have to visit a GP for a referral to then make an appointment to consult the Specialist? The GP adds no value what so ever to the process, the GP usually has a crowded appointment book and certainly doesn’t need the extra work load, and the process adds significantly to Medicare costs. Some scrutiny of the ridiculous charges made by private Pathology service providers would be timely as well. Perhaps a review of the range of Pharmaceuticals that could be dispensed without a prescription would be appropriate? It’s not rocket science but it does seem to be beyond the thought process employed by many of our professional Politicians. “Tax first and don’t bother asking questions before or after”. It’s not unlike a proposal to spend $17M on a Council Depot with no quantifiable economic or operational benefit and then telling ratepayers services are to be cut and rates increased more than 60% over the next 5 years. They’re not real bright are they? Ian Saunders, Maclean