I am cross as patch about this.
Three blokes have swum from the Geelong Sea Baths to the Brighton Sea Baths, across Port Phillip Bay, nearly double the distance of swimming the English channel. Later note: They did not all make it. It was a fund raiser for a lad who became a paraplegic after diving off a pier. Apparently his care comes at a cost of $300,000 per year.
Why is this so? I have experienced this weirdness of fundraising myself when a friend's nephew was injured in a car crash. Almost before he reached hospital in an ambulance, a Face Book fund raiser page was set up for him.
Now, I would really like someone to explain to me why this fundraising is necessary? In Australia, we get free medical care paid through our taxes which includes rehabilitation. Then there are various amounts of assistance available for extras over three tiers of government. It can be problematic finding out about them as there is no central co-ordination but the services are there. Somewhere in government is a department that will pay for alterations to your home to cater for your disability. If you need an electric wheelchair, you will get it. It may not be the latest and flashiest model, but it will be supplied. You will get home nursing care if it is required.
I think the rolling out of the National Disability Scheme will address these co-ordination problems with whole of care packages.
Yes, there are extra expenses that won't be covered by government. Your mortgage should you have one won't be paid. But if you rent privately, you will get a rent subsidy. You will not be compensated for a loss of potential earnings but forced to rely on a government pension which is just adequate for basic living.
Let me use my brother as an example.
ABI Brother received a serious head injury when he rode his bicycle across a highway from a side street in front of cars. He has no memory of the event and we only speculate that it may have been a suicide attempt.
He was a close call to death, but our public health system treated him exceptionally well, followed by a year or more of rehabilitation.
He received a payout for his injury from the Transport Accident Commission, enough to seriously contribute towards buying a house in the area where he grew up. He later got a job where he still works. He has subsequently paid taxes, contributed to the community by football and cricket umpiring and looks after Mother on a daily basis. He was fortunate because his incident was classed as a traffic accident. An injury from diving off a pier may not be quite the same.
Nevertheless, my point stands. We have good public medical care in Australia. I have received it in the past and R has very recently. Of course it is not perfect and things can go wrong. Our dyke friend had a successful heart transplant under our public system. Bone Doctor who has worked in St Mary's and St Thomas Hospital in London reckons our health care is better than that of England.
So please do tell me why this quadriplegic lad needs $300,000 worth of private care per year? My hackles really rise when I hear of fundraisers for people who have been injured. Of course we feel sorry for them and have concerns about their futures, but there is absolutely no need for fundraising on such an extreme scale. There are many permutations and different circumstances of course, but there is a basic that remains, high quality medical care provided by our taxes is a right and that is pretty close to what we get.