Maryborough GP Paul Cotton.
Maryborough GP Paul Cotton.

Sick system in urgent need of help

“STOP the bleeding. This can’t go on.”

Maryborough GP Paul Cotton slammed the credibility of the federal government’s National Health and Hospital Reform Commission’s report, which was immaculately spruiked on the Fraser Coast on Tuesday by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

“This is politics of self-preservation at the expense of the people.

“The government has inculcated the message of a world-class health system, which continues to evolve when in reality those who can afford it get the best and those less fortunate die on waiting lists.

“Have we learnt nothing? Are we prepared to accept a reform strategy premised on the same failed two-tiered system of a taxing federal government contracting state governments that have consistently demonstrated incompetence?”

Dr Cotton asks why it has it been left to the Prime Minister to deliver the news the system presided over by the state government has failed, clearly a different rhetoric to senior bureaucrats who persist in reassuring us to the contrary.

“Any remedy predicated on an inept state bureaucracy and dominated by political self-interest is flawed.

“What can we do now? How can we take the first step? What have we learnt from the Patel saga and recent experience?

“There must be community empowerment and ownership of health services. We must immediately insist on a community-owned independent audit of all clinical services, including the state and equity of waiting lists and a clear declaration of pecuniary or self interest of those who purport to represent the situation.”

Dr Cotton said good governance, good business models and good management were the tenets of any successful enterprise. There was no reason to exempt the current heath service from this and its responsibility to deliver safe, accessible and timely services; to be open, honest and transparent through community accountability.

“Today we have a new form of corruption where the ability to pay and not the urgency of need determines access. Where productivity of a public session or operating list falls short of a private equivalent and where the lack of accountability serves the needs of political self-interest and not the people.

“You can do something today, Mr Rudd.”


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