The date has been set for the Australian elections. It is going to be interesting to see the outcome of this election race because both sides are making promises that requires a second look. These are promises that will directly affect the hip pocket but what about natural justice?
This morning this subject was mentioned during the sermon at Mass. Now, I can understand the warning that was given because the tax benefits are sorely tempting to all of us. Considering the benefits that are gained by the Government since the implementation of the GST, I do think that personal income tax should be cut, especially for the mid-range high income earners, as well as those in the lowest income range. However, are tax cuts our only consideration.
The point that was raised this morning concerned the lack of mental health facilities. What I want to clarify is whether this is the responsibility of the Federal Government or of the State Governments. Over the past 10 years there has been an appalling waste of money as far as health expenditure is concerned. There is definitely something wrong as far as the distribution of the health dollar is concerned. The hospital system in Australia is in the doldrums. In Victoria for example, the nurses have been on strike for higher pay. All things considered, these are the same nurses who are whining about the workplace agreements, and how they think that they are not well off, yet they care little about the patients who should be in their care through their thoughtless action of striking. Nurses these days are very well paid. Money is wasted in a lot of areas, especially when hospital administrations become top heavy and bloated.
What has been missing in a lot of hospitals is that sense of responsibility for the welfare of the patient. I am hearing of too many cases where things have gone wrong in the hospital. This has happened within my own family, when my niece Kathryn was having her first son. As a result of poor decision making by hospital staff that little baby did not get the chance to come out of the womb alive. Sadly, my niece’s story is not a one off, and there are a lot of other horror stories to be told, not just in Victoria but in Wagga Wagga, NSW as well as in other NSW hospitals. There is no excuse for some of these things to happen to pregnant women, and there has been an increase in infant mortality, as well as maternal deaths, and that is inexcusable in the twenty-first century.
Perhaps the present Federal Government is taking the correct approach on the issue of the incompetence in public hospitals. What I do know, is that the State Governments have not been allocating sufficient dollars to the public hospital system and this in turn is helping to cause the present crisis as far as hospital beds and other matters are concerned.
Something has to be done about giving better care for those with mental problems. We do not have adequate mental health facilities. What is really shocking though, is the way in which the mentally ill patients have been released into the general public without adequate follow up care. Now there are groups available to help; groups such as GROW and Beyond Blue are better equipped to handle some issues, but the people within those groups are not equipped to handle people who are psychotic or even schizophrenic during meetings. The psychiatrists these days tend to be pill pushers and they are not adequately dealing with the causes of the mental problems. For a long time now there has been a lot of duck shoving because no one wants to take responsibility for those who are mentally ill. I might add here that splashing money at pregnant women who might end up with post-natal depression is not the right way to deal with the problem. It is after the baby has been born, especially on the third day after the birth, when the woman becomes weepy, that action needs to be considered. An education program will not give necessary support to new mothers who are suddenly feeling like they cannot cope .
There are many issues that need to be considered. We cannot afford to be single issue in our considerations when it comes to these elections. The opposition leader seems ok on the surface but underneath he appears to be lily-livered, but he is the best of a bad bunch of losers.