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  1. 1
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    EnergyPedant

    My take on public perception:

    The focus on hospitals is because that’s where you go when you are really sick. Emergency department is life and death, the rest of the health system is only for old people and people who don’t take care of their own health.

    In reality primary care is incredibly important and probably a more effective use of money. However GP offices are a crappy photo-op. Each hospital serves multiple marginal electorates….

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  2. 2
    Croakey

    Croakey

    Two quick things:

    1. Re your point about hospitals being for people who are really sick – many people who end up in hospital are there because their chronic diseases haven’t been effectively prevented or managed in the community (swine flu is a good example with this, given that people who are obese or have underlying medical conditions seem to be more at risk). Also there are plenty of elderly people stuck in hospitals who really would be better off elsewhere.

    2. I completely agree that primary care hasn’t really worked out how to effectively “sell itself” whether to politicians in marginal seats or to newspaper photographers. Many reasons for this but one that may be worth noting is the lack of cohesiveness between professions/disciplines and services. Also, I’ve yet to meet a PR for a community health service that comes anywhere close to competing with the PR machines of hospitals. Those cute pic stories of kids saved by hospital heroes don’t end up in the news pages by chance.

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  3. 3
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    EnergyPedant

    I agree entirely with point number 1, I was stating what I thought public opinion was. Primary care and prevention are I think both more effective and cheaper ways to deal with the majority of chronic diseases. A good health system would reduce the supply of illness before it reached the hospitalization stage, although there are plenty of diseases and conditions for which this is not possible (e.g. most cancers, trauma).

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  4. 4
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    gloworm

    Maybe our health care system would cope better if our doctors patients medical files were audited on a regular basis. It seems many of our doctors are poorly skilled in the mixtures of many medications and this causes many deaths and hospital emergencies.

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  5. 5
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    Jon Hunt

    That’s a bit of a worry gloworm. Stay away from those ones.

    I’m beginning to take the view that maybe it is all too hard and we are expecting the impossible, particularly because as a rule governments have problems doing anything clever or difficult. That everybody has a different view usually means there is some truth in all of them, meaning no-one has a cohesive picture. Sometimes changes introduce more problems than they solve, sometimes trying to fix something just makes it more broken.

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