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. 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.
To achieve those aims Social Credit will:
• Implement a publicly-funded, accessible, comprehensive health care system
• Put in place publicly-funded aged care facilities
• Institute public health education programmes
• Ensure there is an accessible, affordable community health services
• Apply significant funding to mental health, to boost the number of well trained specialist and general care staff, crisis teams, support staff, and facilities
• Increase staff numbers in hospitals which will be run by health professionals for the benefit of patients, rather than by highly paid business managers with an eye on the budget
• Re-establish local hospitals in smaller towns and rural centres to further strengthen communities, reduce our carbon footprint, and provide families with easier access to family members
• Ban the advertising of harmful substances
• Set up and fund a New Zealand Medical Institute, to research ways to improve health in New Zealand
• Support alternative medicines and care, government funded where registered and contracted to the Health Department
• Support voluntary organisations in the provision of health care
• Protect the individual’s right to refuse medication or life support
• Oppose compulsory medication, except during an emergency, on the grounds that it is contrary to the fundamental principles of democracy
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.
Hospital health care, with all the attendant overhead costs, is by far the most expensive way to treat illness.
Surgery waiting lists will be cleared. Health research funding will be available as required.
There will be enough hospital beds in wards.
Funding a comprehensive health system will be accomplished in a range of ways.
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.