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Australia managed the mining boom so well we can’t afford cancer treatments

Posted By Joanne Nova On November 21, 2012 @ 1:32 pm In Global Warming | Comments Disabled

Our award-winning treasurer is forcing the nation to spend $8.9 billion on wind-turbines, to generate electricity which will be3- 4 times more expensive than coal powered electricity, probably won’t reduce CO2 at all, and which definitely won’t change the weather. Victoria’s windfarms have saved virtually no coal from being burnt. South Australian windfarms have saved 4% of their rated capacity in fossil fuels at a cost of $1,484 per ton.

MORE than $8.9 billion will be spent importing wind turbines because of the blowout in the Gillard government’s renewable energy target, providing few if any benefits to local industry, one of the nation’s biggest electricity generators warns.

The Australian can also reveal that a new Frontier Economics analysis commissioned by Macquarie Generation has found that the renewable energy target could slash the value of coal-fired power stations by between $11.3bn and $17.3bn – potentially having a greater impact than the carbon tax, which includes industry compensation.

In a new submission to the Climate Change Authority, Macquarie Generation said that 2500 wind turbines – costing $12.7bn – will be needed to comply with a scheme that is set to blow out the amount of renewable energy in the system to about 26 per cent by 2020, from the original 20 per cent.

Of this, more than 70 per cent of the cost would be to purchase overseas-manufactured turbines, the submission says.

Meanwhile, if we had just paid for coal-powered electricity, all the savings from this would pay for cancer treatments we apparently now can not afford.

PRIVATE hospitals are warning of nationwide cutbacks to chemotherapy services – and one of the nation’s largest regional cancer treatment centres faces closure – over a decision to slash federal government funding for chemotherapy drugs.

He said to recoup costs, private hospitals would have to charge patients about $100 extra a treatment. Some patients required several treatments a week.

“In the majority of cases, private hospitals won’t be able to pass those on to private patients because our contracts with health funds prevent that,” Mr Roff said.

He said the outcome would vary from hospital to hospital depending on how they were supplied. “Some hospitals will be able to continue providing service,” he said. “Some have indicated they will limit the types of services that are provided. Some have indicated they are looking at capping the number of treatments they provide to minimise the hospital’s financial exposure. And some have indicated that they have no option but to cease providing chemotherapy services altogether.”

A well managed, smart country balances priorities to maximize the health and well-being of it’s people. Throwing effort and money at frivolous, unsupported whimsies ultimately kills people. We may never be able to say exactly whose death could have been avoided, and there are valid questions about the effectiveness of some cancer treatments as well. But nothing about either of these decisions is based on a cost-benefit analysis and empirical evidence. That is the grand shame of it all. The same people who tell us we need insurance for the planet don’t realize that the “insurance” comes at a cost. The precautionary principle cuts both ways.

Me, if I was PM I’d be putting MRI’s into every town and city to find those cancers early while they are still cheap to treat.


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