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MEETING AN OLDIE IS NOT SO PAINFUL. LINGER AND GIVE IT A GO
I invite you to visit also my literary blog: Journeys in Creative Writing where I post original fiction including short stories, poetry and 'Paternity', a full length mystery novel.
In Australia we have had universal health care since the 1970s.
I still remember queuing with my first doctor's receipt in the new shiny medicare office and leaving with a FULL CASH REBATE there and then!
It was a wonderful relief. There is nothing worse than not being able to afford treatment for something that is nagging away at you and your children.
During the regime of the Howard Government, voted out after eleven years last November, Medicare was watered down, creating consternation.
We have been paying increasing amounts ourselves as a result.
Hospital standards have also plumetted because Federal funding was not so forthcoming to the States
Howard wiped out dental care leaving many Australians with holes in their teeth - until recently very rare here.
However the new government is pro health care and hopefully things won't slide further.
They are re-introducing dental treatment for pensioners for instance. Plain sense when rotten teeth are so fundamental to bad health.
My visit to hospital and the ambulance cost me absolutely NOTHING because I am a pensioner.
People earning good money can choose to have private hospital insurance and if they don't, must pay a levy in their tax, and then they get subsidised treatment. They must pay for pharmaceuticals however.
Tests and treatment at private facilities that mostly have shorter waiting lists are very expensive without insurance.
Mental health care is free if you can get it at a public hospital. The problem is the public system has been neglected in those recent years and it's very hard to get into a psychiatric ward, particularly outside the cities.
I feel very comfortable about receiving free health care because I paid good taxes during forty working years. That's what it should be all about isn't it? Make your contribution to earn a safety net for when things go wrong?
Those better off should be there for people not in a position to make such a contribution. Good health care for every part of a society is a national asset and it is humane.
I just heard on the radio that although Australia is not likely to enter a recession in the near future we will FEEL as though we are in one!
Our commodity prices are suffering because of the international problems, prices are rising and confidence is not what it was.
So everything has a question mark over it - health services included.
Currumbin Waters, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
I'm past my 70th birthday and undaunted.
So far I can look back on probably a dozen different phases in my life, all producing deeply felt experience:
- A barefoot carefree childhood in an Australian seaside town
- Work as a young journalist in the days of hot metal and male chauvinism
- Dipping my toe into real life in Sydney the big city
- Marriage and precious motherhood
- A second career in corporate public relations management
- Another marriage and disillusion
- Battles for financial justice in the law courts
- Re-jigging a career
- At 60 my first university degree (Creative Writing and Australian History majors)
- Fighting sometimes lost causes
- Sneaky aches and pains of the approach of age
- Living on a pension.
All fodder for writing and a valuable background for the development of what could become one day an incisive point of view.
My blogs may become a way of answering the question: 'What's next?'