Showing posts from May, 2020

Will Job Budget Address Inequities?

The Covid-19 lockdown has enabled us to examine work, social inequities and essential infrastructure from some useful perspectives. The first observation was regarding our ability to manage a national health crisis. I remember an interview recently with a surgeon who became emotional when describing his relief that we had managed to avoid a total collapse of our medical system (a real concern). If we had not locked down as soon as we had, it would have revealed how little real capacity we had in the system. The lack of investment in our hospital infrastructure has meant we are now ranked in the bottom 25% in the OECD for beds per 1,000 people. For example we have 2.6 beds for every 1,000 inhabitants and Italy (which was overwhelmed) had 3.2. Germany (with 8 beds per 1,000) has coped well with the sudden increase in patients and its death rate is well below Spain (3 beds) and France (6 beds). Before the pandemic our hospital system was already struggling to meet demand as our po