Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Timing is all

Believe it or not, but all the following is apparently documented fact:

  • Obstetricians’ conferences coincide with a depressed national birth rate.
  • There was a large movement of births in Australia from June 2004 through to July 2004, after the introduction of the $3,000 ‘Baby Bonus’.
  • There was a drop in deaths in Australia in the week before the abolition of inheritance taxes on 1 July 1979.
  • Mortality rates decreased in Israel during a doctors’ strike.

All this and more in a fascinating edition of Radio National’s The Health Report – read more or listen to downloadable audio from here.


Blogger Caz said...

Yes, mortality rates always improve when doctors or hospitals goe on strike (eg, if they can't admit people because nurses walk out).

But then, hospitals themselves are the worst place to be if one wants to get well ... the shorter the stay, the more chance you have!

I always find the euthenasia "debate" a peculiar exercise too; after all, people are, for all intents and purposes bopped-off every day (yes, in Australia), but it's a doctor or medical team making the decision, with or without family input, and WITHOUT the patient having a say. Let's say a death tax was going to be INTRODUCED next month? The death rate here would have a temporary, yet remarkable spike.

And yes, many a C-section was delayed because of the baby bonus. This would have occured when it increased last year too, I imagine, and there will be another blip on the graph when the final increase is implemented next year.

2/2/07 8:43 PM  
Blogger Jacob A. Stam said...

All fair comment, Caz.

I'd add that the people being bopped-off would be considered by public health administrators as cogs in the wheel of efficient public health administration. Sad that they can't level with the patients and/or next of kin, though. But then, an explanation like "Your tax dollars only go so far" might be considered insensitive under the circumstances.

As to hospitals being the worst place to get well, a friend's son recently lost some bits off his toes in a lawn mower mishap. No big deal to be sans some bits of your toes, apart from the pain and inconvenience. In truth, though, I was more worried about what bugs he might pick up during his stay in the hospital. Happily he was out in a couple of days.

2/2/07 11:03 PM  

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