The leftward and other blatherings of Span (now with Snaps!)

Monday, January 23, 2006


These two articles were rather close together on the NZ Herald news sidebar this morning:

National says it would stop funding Maori therapists


Identity loss tied to Maori suicide

Very quickly:

There are a lot of therapies that seem dodgy on the face of it. Homeopathy is the one that most frequently gets the shit kicked out of it in the Listener letters to the editor. And yet, having had a long-term illness that there is nothing "modern medicine" can do about, I'm actually now of the School of Thought that says - sometimes it doesn't matter if it's the placebo effect, as long as it's working and it's not harming you.

And there is something to be said for respecting a culture that, quite frankly, past Government's have done everything they can to suppress and destroy.

No time to comment more now, have to go to work v early this morning.


Aaron Bhatnagar said...

Health dollars are scarce enough as it is that funding placebos based on unproven therapies (read quackery) is a waste of money.

Put it this way, a mixture of prayer, seawater and greenstone doesn't need govt funding.

Maria von Trapp said...

Some lovely rhetoric from the right again.

How about considering, just for a minute Aaron, that some cultures might prefer their own health forms over those of the west?

Having depression, I know that it's a combination of factors that work: medication, family, counselling, working, exercise and very important to me: spirituality.

Oh, but why should we bother funding all of these options with our money, I mean it's not based on our precious western medicine so it must be second rate.

Because it's good for friggin society that's why.

Just because you personally don't understand it doesn't mean it's not relevant or important. Or necessary.

Ed said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ed said...

And there is something to be said for respecting a culture that, quite frankly, past Government's have done everything they can to suppress and destroy

Funnily enough, the idea of Maori for Maori policy was advocated by Muldoon, he rambled on about the idea ad nauseum in 'Muldoon' and 'My Way'. That said he seemed to have had a dose of good sense on Maori policy by the time he got around to 'The New Zealand Economy: A Personal View' but that was written too late to have any bearing on policy.

Maria, I can't speak for Aaron but I'm not opposed to Maori seeking out seaweed treatments and what not, it's just that it lacks the scientific backing to justify public spending. The methods used don't look like they justify a great deal of medical training or expertise nor would they require expensive materials, so the way I see it such treatments could be administered by a Kaumatua type person without the need for Government spending or intervention. I can't help but think that Maori tribes need to be at the forefront of re-establishing their culture rather than have the Government do it for them.

Nigel Kearney said...

Two further points:

1. Lots of people want alternative healthcare, but the only kind that gets govt funding is the Maori kind. The wastage of our money is bad but govt does that throughout the health system. What makes this worse is the racist element.

2. Poor Maori health outcomes have been deemed by the left as justifying greater per-capita spending on 'Maori Health'. If that spending is directed towards voodoo instead of real treatment, then Maori health outcomes will get even worse and the response will be even greater lop-sided funding allocation - a vicious cycle. Greater choice should come with greater responsibility.

span said...

nigel - I have no problem with
public funding for alternative health care, regardless of whether it's for Maori or not. We need to stop being so snobbish about "western medicine" and it's superiority. Yes it can deal best with a lot of medical problems, but not all.