Hidden Voices the manipulation of healthcare
The programme Hidden Voices had little to do with articulating the experiences across communities of people living with mental illness. It seems the voice of Mackay Division of General practice voice was obviously not that hidden. Today, YIRS closed its free (Medicare bulkbilled) health clinic, staffed by local general practitioners, members of the aforementioned organisation.
The question here is
- How do politics, power relationships and ideologies seek to shape the healthcare system?
- What is the role of professional/industrial organisations and lobby groups influence policy and service provision?
Hidden Voices, exemplified one mode of political manipulation through the use of the media and the self-serving political agenda of some. Here with the closure of this clinic are the medical fraternity trying to apply a further political lever for the capitalist cause. Professionals across the community volunteer including me (10+hrs a week a total of 65hrs this month), is it another example of capitalist imperative trumping community responsibility for some.
What about primary health care?
I watched a 4Corner’s programme titled Hidden Voices last night, which looked at issues faced by people living with mental disorders in regional Australia in particular around service gaps. The topic of mental health holds some personal and professional interest, and I found aspects of this programme at some levels misleading.
- In highlighting the Mackay Division of General practice as somehow the principal provider of quality mental health services in this region seemed questionable or even self-serving on the part of participants.
- The Division is a an industry lobbyist for General Practitioner & service provider in its own right.
- In a population of 140, 000, 70% of whom experience some form of mental disorder these stats seem inflated
- Healthcare in Australia has a tradition of private & public provision, with extensive public funding of both equally.
- This programme sort to further a false dichotomy around the difference in the quality of services between public and private providers
- When professionals often work in both sectors simultaneous for multiple organisations, does this mean their quality of service differs depending on who pays.
It was simply a polished example of squeaky wheel politics in advancing the political agenda of the Division of General Practice during an election year. The programme was heavy on criticism and light on solutions, in seeking it seems to make further demands on public funding of private sector health.
Mackay Regional Mental Health Network
Self described as a partnership of government, non-government and private mental health service providers, consumers and carers who work in collaboration to improve mental health outcomes for people living with mental illness and their carers across the Mackay region.
This may be the mechanism required to
- Give political impetus to bring about a change process
- Build strategic partnerships across whole of community and government
- Identify and articulate service gaps
- develop strategies to address service gaps
- Advocate for resources
What is stopping them, may be you need to look at who is sitting at the table