Friday, October 03, 2003

The health crisis and Australian federalism

The current crisis in Australian public hospitals is a Doctors vs Lawyers contest in more than one way. As well as being kept fuelled by a feeding frenzy by the legal profession (and its ever-reliable luncheon date, the insurance industry), the crisis has brought to the surface Australia’s ugly federal structure – a ridiculous, ramshackle division of powers that many lawyers pretend to hold sacred, even while politicians exploit its gaping loopholes to run the nation (and its states) into the ground. Quite simply, the Commonwealth and the states are currently playing a zero-sum, Barlow and Chambers game of mutual blame over the health care crisis.

So let me, as a lawyer, commit the ultimate sacrilege and suggest that no Australian gives a fig for states’ rights, insofar as it prevents the orderly allocation of medical services for them. Just fix this problem please – NOW. If it requires giving the Commonwealth total power over public health, then what’s the big deal? (and who cares what the lawyers may bleat? Just tie them to a trolley in a corridor somewhere, and let ‘em rot as the their precious Constitution is fed down through their i/v drips.)

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?