Why is it so hard to get a nurse? Why, when there is so much talk about health reform, is it that I can employ a million GPs, podiatrists, dietitians or whatever health-care professional I please with no problem in my medical practice, but if I want to employ a nurse practitioner, I have to complete mountainous amounts of time-consuming paperwork and “consult” with every person on the health scene? Could it be coincidence that is too hard to employ a nurse practitioner or do I smell a rat? Can someone ask minister Roxon or the ACCC or both please?

Corporate governance at GMHBA. I’m a member of the health fund GMHBA. There’s currently a big kerfuffle about a takeover offer from nib. I don’t really care about nib, or its takeover offer, but it has raised some interesting questions about corporate governance at GMHBA. Apparently this is the fourth offer since 2007, but as a member I have been kept in the dark. There is zero accountability here from the GMHBA board — it is  more interested in protecting its cushy unelected jobs (the constitution is designed so that existing directors determine who is eligible for board nomination — I have never seen that before anywhere else). The prospect of receiving $1500 versus nothing is a tempting one, but the fact that I as a member can’t have a vote is not fair.

More information on certain student pollies:

Joe Hockey: Sydney Uni SRC president in 1987, closed the women’s room at the SRC, not aligned, but politically more aligned with NOLS than the Libs at that stage, took credit (totally unwarranted) for anti-fees protest/occupation of the Department of Education offices in Goulburn Street, nominated himself to represent all students to Susan Ryan, then Minister.

Tony Burke: seen trading reams of A3 paper from his local ALP offices for preferences in the 1987 Sydney Uni SRC election.

The battle for Brunswick. All Brunswick Victorian state electorate voters in my house received this junk mail from Carlo Carli this week. He may be retiring, but darn it, he wants you to know just how environmentalist and loving Victorian Labor is. Gosh, he’s not trying to cut the Greens’ grass in the face of Brunswick potentially going to Cyndi Dawes, is he?

8-10-2010 12-11-08 PM

Running the numbers on the Games. What has Foxtel got to hide? It is not reporting separately the ratings of its six Commonwealth Games channels. Ten is, and while its ONE digital channel is doing well, its main channel figures are poor. The spiel from advertisers was that you go buy Ten’s main channel, ONE and the Foxtel channels. Foxtel hates being measured across all its channels every day on the same basis as the free-to-air channels are. If Foxtel management was really confident in its product, it  would release the figures for every channel every day and take the good with the bad, just as the FTAs do.

Meanwhile, Fusion Strategy in Sydney thinks the Foxtel channels are totalling about 174,000 viewers a night so far across the five metro markets. ONE’s averaging 191,000. Foxtel obviously doesn’t want the individual channel-to-channel comparison with ONE. The share figures show that Foxtel audiences are up since the Games started a week ago. Why not go further?

Peter Fray

Fetch your first 12 weeks for $12

Here at Crikey, we saw a mighty surge in subscribers throughout 2020. Your support has been nothing short of amazing — we couldn’t have got through this year like no other without you, our readers.

If you haven’t joined us yet, fetch your first 12 weeks for $12 and start 2021 with the journalism you need to navigate whatever lies ahead.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey