He’s on The Panel (Part 2), and he doesn’t come on for a few minutes – you have to fast forward through Joanne Black discussing the dangers of swollen rivers (unless you’re interested in that kind of thing, and it is pretty interesting – did you know that a doubling of the velocity of a river results in a 60-fold increase in the amount of mass it can move? Amazing. Anyway…)
Anderton is proposing a gradual subsidising of dental care. This could be implemented by incrementally providing subsidies to groups according to need, starting with young children and pregnant women (no biases here), much as subsidies for seeing your GP were rolled out.
Currently, only dental care for school students is subsidised. This cover has not been extended since 1948. Why? There are many New Zealanders who cannot afford to visit the dentist, and their overall health is suffering as a consequence (dental problems are strongly linked to other health problems, often causally).
There were three things that really impressed me as I was listening to him:
- His proposal makes sense, it’s realistic and it would help us to have better dental health and better health overall.
- He listens to questions and answers them. He seems to know what he’s talking about, and he doesn’t just seem to be politically manoeuvring all the time.
- He really does care about the well-being of all New Zealanders. For example, he is appalled that there are members of our society who are reduced to queuing at 5am in the Emergency Department of Middlemore Hospital, so they can (if they’re lucky enough to be amongst the first 30 people waiting) be given a pain killer and have their tooth pulled. Aren’t you?