Topics:  health, kim bulwinkel, letter to editor

Personal apology ‘owed’ over health comments

DAN McIntyre in his 'Hot Topic' contribution (April 22) unfortunately highlights one of the great problems of emotion over fact, and reasoned understanding over demonizing slogans.

My comments were in response to Bill Byrne, MP for Rockhampton, abusively criticising the current State Government's efforts to salvage our public health system from the brink of catastrophic failure.

I was making three observations about the direction of these efforts.

I also stated that our State Government was "demonstrating excellent leadership in health service planning" and displaying "positive, thoughtful, strategic and responsible leadership" despite the decisions being "the morally correct though difficult position" to take.

The raising of references to the American-style health system were made by Bill Byrne, not me.

The Australian Medicare concept of universal health insurance is wonderful, popular, idealistic, civilized, social, public policy.

It requires two important planks to ensure that it works: it needs to be funded by insurance premiums that adequately and responsibly underwrite its payouts; and some responsibility for paying these premiums needs to be willingly taken on, as able, by all of those in our society who believe in the concept of Medicare and wish to utilise its benefits.

These fundamental requirements for the sustainable public health care service in Australia do not exist.

Both Dan McIntyre and Bill Byrne owe me a public personal apology.

Kim Bulwinkel,

Rockhampton


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