Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Comrade Adams is unwell

Comrades, at times I wonder about my communistic and socialist principles. But then I think back to when avowed communist and now radio broadcaster Phillip Adams who made mega dollars from advertising, when questioned about driving around in a Rolls Royce. His reply was 'everyone should drive a Rolls Royce'. I'll go with that. Comrade Adams is somewhat unwell at the moment. We can only hope he survives. Is he an Australian Living Treasure yet?

In about 1990 he wrote a wonderful story of the troubles with his Roller and t was published in a newspaper, but I forget which, either The Australian or The Age.

But sometimes one's principles are shaken to the core, by sheer common sense. One such moment for me was when we were at the Broken Hill Flying Doctor Service. For you foreigners, the Royal Flying Doctor Service (clink on the link. It has a very pretty home page) is a private organisation that attends to people with medical problems in the vast Australian outback. The plane flies in, treats, and or transports people to a regional or city hospital by plane.

Should you be silly enough to be walking Australia's Oodnadatta Track and you trip over the body of a backpacking tourist and break your ankle, you hopefully will have a satellite phone and be able to call for help. The Flying Doctor Service will find a nearby place to land and take you away for treatment at a hospital. I don't believe there is any charge for the transport and if your country has reciprocal medical agreements with Australia, there will be no charge for hospital treatment either.

"Miss, Miss!, my hand shot up during our guided tour of the Royal Flying Doctor Service facility in Broken Hill. "Why aren't you fully government funded?"

"Well naive young man, we get some government money but we also fund raise very hard. We will not have Canberra bureaucrats dictating to us about what sort of planes we shall have, nor what sort of medicines we will have on board or what we can do in our best endeavours for our patients."

Well, I was firmly put back in my box. I did not stop believing that it should be a government service, but so often government organisations don't have the right people appointed to run them and there is the fact of political interference by government.

15 comments:

  1. If the RFDS was fully Government funded you can bet that this Federal Government, for one, would look to privatise it.

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    1. I expect they would Victor.

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  2. I have heard bullshit in my life ...have been around the block once or twice myself. But "we will not have Canberra bureaucrats dictating to us about what sort of planes etc.." is a reversion to pre-WW 1 barbarism? That was when the haves would rather let the have-nots die than share tax-payers money with them.

    I think it was the guide giving you the bullshit, not the service. Nasty, nasty guide!

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    1. Hels, as I said, it rather goes against my principles. Some things should be government funded and whether they make a profit or loss is not the point. They are public services.

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  3. Careflight is not funded by the Gov or wasn't when I worked at Nrma, that's our local service that does much the same thing not sure about now, I think they are helped out by the gov now.
    Merle.............

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    1. Merle, they probably get government grants and I would guess the RFDS does too.

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  4. Sadly it is all too common. I volunteer with Lifeline, which does get some government (local and Federal) funding. But the funding comes with conditions. Some of which are reasonable, some definitely NOT. Which is one of the reasons we too fund raise our hearts out.

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    1. EC, I suppose it is inappropriate for you to say, but I do wonder what conditions they might apply to somewhere like Lifeline.

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    2. With no detail, the government's conditions relate to 'accountability'. I believe that one of lifeline's strength's is that callers are anonymous (unless their life or someone else's is in imminent jeopardy). When we make referrals we do so with no bias. And we are not bound to answer a certain number of calls per shift/per day/ per year. Most of the counsellors are volunteers - extensively trained by Lifeline.

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  5. Ideally the government would fund public services such as medical care but they sure can mess things up. Thinking of what a wreck our new affordable care is here in the states.

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    1. Rubye, a long time ago I tried to write about your health system and the Obama changes, but I just did not know enough. I realise he is limited in what he can get through, but it just doesn't seem to be any better.

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  6. God forbid the gubmint should get hold of the Flying Doctor Service. They do a fantastic job and are much appreciated by all who live outside the range of city or town services.

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    1. No doubt they do a great job River, but doesn't our government funded ambulance system? Oh, well, not always.

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  7. I worry the government would eventually sell it off like so many other things.

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    1. No argument from me about the privatisation of what are essential services that should be delivered by government.

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