Another harebrained idea

Dear Editor,

Re: India patients treatment 

This sounds like one of the PM’s harebrained ideas, similar to the wharf at Aleipata or the makeki at Vaitele. 

All of these schemes look excellent on paper and in theory until they get implemented which is when you discover the myriad of problems and issues which hadn’t been taken into account in the planning phase.

I am sure the P.M. is a much better economist (commerce graduate) than me from my one term of economics at a local educational institution (un-named) but, one would have thought that a scheme like this would have costings to support the assertions/assumptions. 

What does the $20m figure include? Does it include the travel costs and the medical treatment for how many people in what year? I presume the costs are dependent on the seriousness of the case which determines the type and duration of treatment.

Presumably the PM has carried out his cost benefit analysis and arrived at the conclusion that it is cheaper to send patients (and their carers/relatives) to India rather than to NZ. Wouldn’t it be nice if the PM were to say for instance that to treat a severe heart disease case (however that is defined) in NZ would cost $x versus the lower cost of $y to treat a similar case in India. 

Let the ordinary punter at the makeki make up his mind whether that is good or bad policy.

My friend at the makeki would argue that the total figure of $20m paraded by the PM does not include all the offsets, for example, the benefits to the NZ bound patient from the visits from relatives and friends who live in aotearoa. 

Surely these visits have some medical benefits to speeding up the recovery process, but these types of offsets are probably not included in the PM’s spreadsheet of benefits (offsets to costs). There are also the human and unquantifiable costs to the patient and relatives of having to navigate a hospital system in India which is foreign to them. 

Not helped by the language barrier although Indians and Samoans speak a similar brand of the queen’s language. But the PM, being the big laui’a that he is would have included all of these costs and offsets in his cost benefit analysis.

Surely in this digital age, shouldn’t one of his yes men explore the possibility of local doctors undertaking some of these medical procedures online with the strict supervision of NZ based specialists. 

If our hospital has the equipment to undertake these complex procedures locally why not consider the idea.

By the way Mr PM, not every Indian looking doctor was born in India. Some of these specialists might have Indian features (to paraphrase your words) but they are proud kiwis - just like, not every proud Samoan, looks like you Mr PM.


Vai Autu 

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