Tony Abbott once described Australia’s health system as a "dog’s breakfast". With the surprise announcement on July 31 of a federal takeover of Mersey Hospital in Devonport, it appears that the current government is perfectly happy to go on feeding the dog – as long as it lives in a marginal seat.
Howard’s decision has bypassed years of community consultation and careful consideration of how to serve the health needs of everyone in the area over the long term. It demonstrates exactly what is wrong with the current approach to health reform: the selective cherry-picking of celebrity problems to cure with a quick cash injection from the policy paramedics in Canberra.
If you’re sick of short-term political goals being prioritised over good policy, you might enjoy this special health edition of InSight, packed with positive ideas on everything from preparing Australia’s health workforce to deal with ever-increasing demands (Jill Iliffe, Peter Brooks and Niki Ellis), to proposals for giving citizens a real opportunity to help design a fairer, more sustainable system (Tony McBride & John MacKean).