Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Our View (21-3-2017): Unhealthy situation

NO, it’s not an April Fool’s Day joke. April 1 is the day our already ailing health system is set to deteriorate even further.

Not only is Yorketown hospital scheduled to lose important surgical services, but the cost of private health insurance will increase again.

Private health is hiked up by around five per cent annually.

This year is no different, but the cost is getting more than people can absorb and therefore many are opting out.

A recent Galaxy poll for iSelect found eight out of 10 health fund members will reassess their insurance and consider downgrading their cover or dropping out altogether.

And it’s easy to see why when the insurance is costing families around $1000 per quarter. That’s about $85 out of the weekly budget which also has to cover the ever-increasing costs of food, petrol, electricity, water and more.

Not to mention private health is just one insurance amongst a myriad of cover options — you can get insurance for houses, cars, pets, contents, income, and even your life.

Yes, it’s nice to have peace of mind and know you are insured if something happens to you or your assets but there is a limit on what people can afford.

If private health fund membership decreases, this is going to put extra pressure on our public health system.

Yet instead of investing in local public health services, the government is giving them the axe, preferring a centralisation method.

However, it might not be too late for surgery to stay at Yorketown hospital.

The community has shown great gusto in stepping up and voicing its concern. People power has won before and it can win again.

So, if you care about regional health services, make sure you are at the public meeting on April 20.

Amie Price, Editor

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