Meg Thornton (megpie71) wrote,
Meg Thornton

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In this election year in Australia, I'd like to direct the attention of anyone who's larger than about a size twelve toward the following blog:

First Do No Harm: Real stories of Fat Prejudice in health care.

The site documents actual incidences (generally in the US health system) of people who are judged to be "fat" or "overweight" not receiving proper health care. This includes things like people actually being told not to see their doctor (for any reason) unless they've lost weight; people who are judged to be "fat" not receiving treatment for eating disorders; people who are judged to be "fat" being told to go to Weight Watchers when they're in casualty for appendicitis and similar such incidences.

I'm sure it hasn't escaped the attention of any number of people that the Howard government (and the Liberals under Howard in general) tends to regard the US with a certain amount of pseudo-religious awe. If the US does it, Australia should, according to them (and never mind the fact we're different countries, different cultures, different climates and different conditions entirely). To that end, they've been attempting to stealthily (or not-so-stealthily) dismantle the Australian medical system, to get it acting more like the US one. Now, never mind that if you spend any time on the internet at all, you're bound to run into stories from people in the US and by people in the US about the nature of their health system which make people from outside the US go "WTF?!?" on a massive scale; Howard and his boys think the US health system is just wonderful, and that it should be moved to Australia.

So, if you're planning to vote for the Liberals in this election, think hard. Read that blog. Read the numerous stories floating about online about the nature of the US health system, and the amount of fear, uncertainty and debt it causes to ordinary people. Read the wailing of the people who think that extending any kind of safety net at all (never mind the type we have here under Medicare, this lot are protesting a limit on the amount a family might have to spend on health care for *children*) is creeping socialism and UnAmerican. Think on this: in the US system, any illness which can be seen to have a preventable component is considered to be "your own silly fault", and there's a strong implication that you *don't* deserve to have treatment for it subsidised.

Mr Howard may well be promising extra beds and extra funds for hospitals. What I'd like to know is where the money is going to come from for those beds, and who'll be allowed to use them.

[NB: This post has not been subsidised by, authorised by, or written by the ALP, the Greens, the Democrats, or any other political party. It's my opinion, and you're welcome to disapprove of it all you want. I reserve the right to shoot back, delete or disemvowel comments, or insist on a recognisable online ID as I see fit.]
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