Health policy

Public Health Activists Playing #Dirtypolitics [UPDATED]

Well, well, well, looks like all the crying from academic activists in the field of public health is just a big fat smokescreen.

They just don’t like anyone taking a look at what they’re really up to.

WOBH has highlighted over the years various troughers gouging the public just so they can travel the world to fancy conferences. It started with tobacco troughers, but has quickly spread to troughers looking at alcohol restrictions and obesity/fat taxes.

Now we see the real agenda of the public health activists. Global taxes on products they don’t like.

The Taxpayers Protection Alliance has an alarming blog UN Health Conference Bans Media Day After Kicking out Public and Then Passes Massive Global Tobacco Tax in Secret.

After booting the public from its meetings on Monday, the World Health Organization’s tobacco control convention ramped up its assault on transparency on Tuesday when the press was also banned from the Moscow conference.

Shortly after the media was removed from the convention, the United Nations’ health agency secretly passed the world’s first ever global tax – an outrageous scheme requiring nearly 180 countries to apply a minimum tax on tobacco products.

All indications were that the global tobacco tax would not pass until Thursday or Friday, if at all. Without the public and the media there to watch, delegates ratified the tax almost immediately.

When I, and a handful of other accredited journalists, showed up for a Tuesday morning press briefing, we were told that the briefing was cancelled and the press was no longer allowed to attend any convention events at all.

The rest of the convention, which cost world taxpayers nearly $20 million, will now take place in secret, behind closed doors. It’s a chilling and disturbing attack on the freedom of the press – especially given the impact decisions made at the convention will have on people throughout the world.

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Incompetent business reporting by the Sunday Star-Times

A Guest Post by Whaleoil Business Correspondent – Winslow Taggart:

The Sunday Star-Times committed an outrageous slur on one of NZ’s best run companies today, by linking Ryman Healthcare to industrial relations issues in the retirement village industry.

In fact, by the end of the article, it turns out that Ryman has above average wages in the industry, has no industrial relations issues, and is only in the spotlight because it makes a lot of money – more than anyone else in the industry.

The Slowly-Sinking-Tabloid breathlessly reports that Ryman has made $84m in profit, slyly implying that this is because service worker wages are being ripped off.

In fact, Ryman’s large profits are because of its winning formula of constructing its apartment and village complexes in-house, building to scale (their villages are larger compared to other retirement village operators) and gaining profit on the re-sale of units. For those who don’t know, retirement village operators are mostly property developers who also happen to provide health care to residents. Much of their cash flow comes from unit sales and crucially – re-sales. Wages for nursing care would be a relatively minor part of Ryman’s cost structure.

The Slowly Sinking Tabloid also gets a nice hearty quote from a deluded union hack on the evils of Ryman making money. Says Alistair Duncan from the Service and Food Workers Union:

“Is aged care a service to the community, or is it a business? If you’re making a profit, why is that, when aged care is an extension of the health care we give people?”

The SFWU should STFU. On his logic, we should start underpaying doctors and surgeons because they profit from healthcare too. The health care system would fall over tomorrow if the unions decided health funding priorities.

The real reason the SFWU hates Ryman is because Ryman pays its staff more relative to other retirement village operators – and as a result, there is practically NO SFWU or other union presence in Ryman Healthcare villages. Other operators who pay less, like Oceania, have a strong union presence and recent industrial relations unrest.

Come to think of it, that’s probably why Ryman do so well – no nasty marxists to fuck things up and make life unpleasant for residents.

Utterly incompetent reporting by Michelle Robinson. She should hang her head in shame.