Ethics vs politics

If a public hospital has done all the work it’s funded for and has no money to do any more procedures but does have the staff and equipment, should it be able to do so with private money?

More to the point, is it ethical to refuse treatment which could be provided if someone pays just because not everyone else can?

Providing private paying patients aren’t taking precedence over those whose procedures are publicly funded when the funds are available, I don’t see any problem with public hospitals providing privately funded services.

But I do think there’s an ethical issue if the hospitals aren’t able to provide services when the only issue is where the money is coming from.

Oncologist Dr Chris Jackson explains the thinking behind private funding for some procedures in public hospitals in the ODT.

Allowing public hospital cancer patients to have the option of paying for drugs not available through the public system would not mean the beginning of the end of the public health system . . .

. . . The consultation document states it is important for the hospital’s priority to be providing publicly funded services and that provision of extra treatments should not affect the care of patients receiving the publicly funded treatment. . .

Not everyone supports the idea but it sounds to me that those who oppose it don’t understand that paying patients wouldn’t be shoving others aside and they’re letting politics get in the way of ethics.

Macdoctor supports the concept and the panel discussed the issue with Jim Mora  and Dr Jackson (at about 15:30).

P.S. A personal example of when the private-public stand-off gets silly. Our baby son needed an MRI scan in 1989 when New Zealand’s only scanner was in a private hopsital in Auckland. Rather than sending us there, we were flown to Sydney.

One Response to Ethics vs politics

  1. gravedodger says:

    The dogmatic socialist would rather the expensive infrastructure is left idle rather than admit that someone who has managed to avoid their draconian money redistribution regime may, just may, want to avail themself of the surplus capacity to solve a waiting list engineered situation that forces them and everyone else to wait. It is just possible that the rich prick they(who are also rich pricks but it does not occur to their limited intellect) try to portray as bad will by paying for their own treatment free up space for someone who for whatever reason requires state funded treatment.


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