Economy

Mar 21, 2011

Health and the hollowing-out of the economy

The real "hollowing out" of the Australian economy is likely to come from the health sector, which is our biggest employer and one of our fastest growing.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

I want you to close your eyes — well, only for a moment — and think about how the Australian economy actually is, rather than what various industries say it is, or what commentators or politicians say it is.

There are different types of economies, of course, but the one I’m focusing on is the real economy that actually employs people.

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3 comments

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3 thoughts on “Health and the hollowing-out of the economy

  1. Philip Cocker

    It is time to stop calling it health. We have a system dedicated to sickness and we should label it as it is. As long as we call it health and promote external responsibility for our well being then you promote a lifestyle of no responsibility that a health sytem will take care of later. Of course there is a need to treat the sick but we should stop promoting it as the health sytem and an anecdote to poor quality lifestyles and lack of personal responsibility.

  2. michael crook

    Well said Phillip, but I might add that there has been a massive increase in charges by the “fee for service” sector of health. With major increases in charges from pathologists and eye specialists particularly, combined with an upsurge in overservicing, our health system has indeed become a sickness system, a very costly one. Could everyone in the room, please , boycott the junk food corporations and Woollies, the crap food people, start growing their own veggies and exercise, and we will turn it into a far healthier world.

  3. drmick

    You need to look at where in “health” the growth is located.
    Aged care is a hugely underfunded sector that everyone agrees will grow due to the ageing population, and will need to pay reasonable wages to maintain current poor staffing levels and even more ,money to attract the required numbers and quality of staff

    In NSW, Registered Nurses are keeping aged care from collapsing entirely as wel as taking some of the heat away from the public system by utilising their skills to keep residents who should be hospitalised out of hospital. For their troubles, RN`s in Aged Care get$300 a week less than the public hospital RN`s who have not only recently won another wage rise, but guaranteed staffing levels as well.

    It costs the governments $700 a day to keep someone in a hospital bed, yet the Feds provide $47 a day for people in aged care beds. If all the RN’s in Aged Care walked out tomorrow, the public system would grind to a halt. and that is tomorrow, not in 2020

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