Thursday, March 18, 2010

Online from the bush

Living back of beyond has it’s issues, like power supplies and internet access. Both are now sort of sorted and I can post from a fly spot called Mia Mia in northern Victoria. Being on a wireless modem is great, albeit subject to the power sources I am using. Not being on the grid is fine, but balancing a solar/generator mix is difficult.

It becomes frustrating listening to the ‘news’, and occasionally there is news, and not being able to respond. Two issues of particular note just now are climate change and health care.

Climate Change

“Two of the nation's top research bodies - the Bureau of Meteorology and the CSIRO - have come out strongly in defence of the science behind global warming.

The leading research bodies say the evidence is irrefutable: climate change is real and the link with human activity is beyond doubt.”. ABC

What concerns me is that ‘Blind Freddy’ could attest to climate change. Assigning blame is another issue, which the “irrefutable” aspect of human causality is not being clearly articulated. The trenchant skeptics will continue to deny evidence, but the fence sitters are not being convinced as yet.

It seems logical tome that regardless of cause we must do whatever is needed to mitigate those issues we understand. That means accepting the need for sacrifices, which in turn requires clearly articulating the irrefutable evidence. I’m a believer, but I don’t feel I have the information to even begin to convince doubters.


If Kevin Rudd is going to win backing for health reform in this country he needs to tie his various arguments together in a cogent form. That he is now talking about funding more front line health practitioners, GPs, he has failed to tie that into hospital funding reform. This argument is vital. Hospitals will never be cost efficient unless we have an early detection, and dare I say mitigation regime, in place.

Hospital care is increasingly a challenging economic item. The advances in science and technology are mind blowing, and budget blowing, but too many people end up in hospital with conditions which should have been detected and treated before becoming a crisis. Hospitals are never a great place to be and front line care makes them a last resort.

Of course, without the front line doctors in place there is still a huge gap to fill, even without the mindless incidents putting pressure on basic emergency services. I suspect health issues require focusing resources on a wide range of social issues.

Standing in the way of any real reform is the federal/state divide, or politics. If the states continue to push responsibility to the Feds then they are writing their own obituary. The issues are all politics in the end, and the state parliaments seem to have lost sight of their reason for being. I still oppose centralizing government, if only because I don’t want to see the state corruption placed in more able hands. Surely it is time the corruption went and ‘commomweal’ took its proper place.