Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Australian Breast Cancer and Immigration

I haven’t blogged for the last few days as I have been finishing off the last assignment of a course. I have also been preparing for a job interview, as a result of which I am now a charge nurse (which is what they call a male sister). I’ve been qualified for eighteen years, so nobody can accuse me of being cursed with an over abundance of ambition.

I had supper with some friends tonight to celebrate. One of these is a fellow nurse, who is off to Oz soon to work for a year at Melbourne Children’s Hospital. As part of her visa requirements she has had to undergo a two hour medical, in which every part of her anatomy has been palpated and every orifice intimately probed. Apparently this is required because the Australian success rate in the treatment of breast cancer (among many other diseases) is now so much better then ours that people with recently diagnosed breast cancer are trying to move to Oz for the better treatment.

I’m deeply saddened that the quality of treatment for breast cancer in this country is falling behind other countries. Personally I blame an NHS philosophy which puts more emphasis on equality of access to health care, however poor that care is, than seeking to raise standards across the board, even if the result is some degree of inequality. I believe that once you stop putting quality top of your list of priorities you're lost. Anyway, as they say, a rising tide raises all boats.

But I’m more struck by the robustness of Australian immigration policy. So clear are they that it’s wrong for Australian taxpayers to be taken advantage of, for taxpayers money to be spent treating people who haven’t contributed to their own care, and who are in the country primarily to take advantage of the health care system, that they make real and vigorous attempts to prevent this happning. I’d like to know if we do the same. Does anyone know?


Blogger AndrewD said...

A friend of mine has a neighbour who visits about twice a year, in order to go to our local NHS hospital and get treatment for his MS. His wife also needs treatment for some cancer or other, I don't enquire about the details.

They are Canadians.

12:49 pm  
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10:29 pm  
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9:13 pm  

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