With the voting element of the Federal Election having calmly and peacefully (lols) passed us by over the weekend, a few of the policies came up in conversation which manifested into the concept for this blog post.
To avoid the risk of losing any of our 11 subscribers, we won’t get into opinions or preferences, but I did hear one proposition which I thought made some sense in relation to the public healthcare system.
Having free (or basically free) education and healthcare is a pretty great thing. Sure, textbooks and uniforms cost money, and sometimes queues at the hospital are long, but compared to a lot of alternatives, it’s a pretty good scenario. But with regards to healthcare in particular, there are some cases where as human-beings, we make questionable decisions but place the responsibility of the solution on others. We certainly all need help sometimes, but sometimes we are our own worst enemies and being facilitated by services such as free healthcare may not provide us or our communities with any long term solution. So what if free healthcare was provided on the basis that we actually had to demonstrate some level of responsible living?
In other words, to qualify for free healthcare, what if we had to participate in X number of hours of exercise each week, must limit our alcohol and soft-drink/fast food intake to a predetermined level, and be non-smokers (and probably also avoid consuming illegal narcotics, except at music festivals. Just kidding.) Implementation would obviously be complex, but some level of responsibility would be placed back on us as a community to live in a manner that promotes good health rather than smashing ourselves and expecting the system to fix us.
I know that the theory is very black and white and there are 51 shades of grey to the hypothetical, but perhaps as the health system comes under greater pressure from a growing population, it is worth considering.
Of course, if you are European soccer player wealthy, then you can freely Charlie Sheen it up and become the private healthcare system’s problem and disregard the above.
There are going to be cases where members of our community have various afflictions or addictions that are the basis of elements out of their control, and we need to take of care of them, without a doubt. But if we actively and purposefully choose to ignore health and wellbeing advice and repeatedly and willingly damage ourselves, should we expect a free health service to take responsibility for us when we refuse to do so ourselves?