Sometimes our politicians get it wrong. Sometimes it’s as a result of misinformation, sometimes ignorance. Other times it’s due to cost saving mechanisms, and sometimes it’s in an effort to stimulate the economy.
The ramifications of getting it significantly wrong are often tragic. One dramatic example would have to be the pink batts fiasco, where in an effort to promote economic stimulus – common sense failed. Despite good intentions, we saw that in an effort to create profits, corners were cut and lives were endangered.
In what can only be described as another tragic scenario, the government made the decision to outsource the administration of the 1800RESPECT service to a private health insurer. I suspect this decision was also based on some kind of sound financial principle, but it is yet another decision which lacks common sense.
Lives again have been endangered, for the sake of making a buck. It is another decision based on paper and profit, and not on people.
The government effectively introduced a ‘middle-man’ to administer the 1800RESPECT counselling service. It came about because Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia, who have historically run the service, had the audacity to ask for more funding, so they could respond to the thousands of calls a year that were still going unanswered. They asked for funding to help more survivors of rape and domestic violence in their time of need.
Instead of supporting a long-standing service to expand and meet a desperate need – some ‘genius’, (likely some ministerial staffer who’d read a few briefing papers) came up with the idea to provide the funding to a private health insurance company, that needs to turn profits.