Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Subsidising Luxuries.

A patient came in the other day that was planning to go overseas on a six month holiday. As this was one of these New Age experiences, her journey was going to take her to the more inhospitable bits of the world. After working out what she was going to need we tallied up the cost of the vaccines and it came close to $180. She was indignant. Why did SHE HAVE TO PAY for the vaccines? She huffed. Wasn’t it covered by Medicare? When I explained that it wasn’t she replied with the typical mantra “the Government should pay for this”. When I asked her why should the Government subsidise her holiday with MY taxes, she looked at me totally dumbfounded.
You see, In Australia the overseas holiday seems to be a bit of a birthright. Anything which impairs that birthright is obviously a moral wrong. Flicking through our newspapers one see the story prolonged hospital waiting lists due to a shortage of funds juxtaposed to the soaring monetary value of building renovations. Obviously Australians are happier putting money into their granite kitchen benchtops than they are into the health system. More on this at a later post.