National's Election Campaign: A Comment
We are in the midst of the greatest health crisis in a century, when practically the whole world has been scared witless about catching this new virus in the context of over-stretched health-care systems. So why hasn't the National Party put health-care reform at the center of its campaign strategy? The Labour Party's biggest weakness would have been exposed. After all, a significant part of the reason for our lock-down which crushed GDP and shattered the job market was due to the government wanting to avoid the health system becoming quickly overwhelmed should the numbers of people who caught the virus start escalating.
The Kiwi public health-care system is already suffering from long waiting lists and a severe array of problems. The OECD predict that the cost of the system will skyrocket from around 8% to 15% of GDP over the next several decades. The rise is mainly due to the ageing population. The two chief concerns of Kiwis over the past six months have been their health and their job. So why didn't the National Party present a plan that would ensure a higher quality, more efficient and better run health-care system, with more choice available to all? Instead both of our major political parties seem to have come up with a policy for practically everything apart from reform of our health system.
I'm not writing with the benefit of hindsight. Several years ago I offered a plan, written with a former New Zealand Minister of Finance to help solve this problem, but the Nats showed no interest. Here was the plan: