Equity……or lack thereof

One of the many thoughts days following a conversation with an acquaintance was about what is considered as important health checks that we are encouraged to have on a regular basis. The one that came to the fore in this case was dental checks.

It became apparent this was not affordable in the foreseeable future for purely financial reasons. Their income is covering weekly expenses yet not leaving them with adequate funds to book an appointment without saving for some time to be able to cover the dentist’s fees.

This family is by no means frivolous with their spending of their single income. They have a good budget and no other source of income; not recipients of any government benefits. They are not eligible for community dental care as they are not holders of a Centrelink Concession Card or any other card that would give them discounted dental services.

I am quite concerned with the lack of equity that occurs in our communities around the provision of government funded healthcare. It troubles me to know that there are people that own their own homes outright and have enough money to affordably cover fees for their own healthcare, plus mine and yours even too yet they are holders of government issued concession cards that entitles them to free healthcare services.

Yet here is a family with high rent to pay each week, on a single income and not able to access any government benefits because they do not meet the criteria or fit within income bandwidths by a mere few dollars to qualify. They are unable to access any services, free or subsidised.

I fail to see the equity and fairness in this. Surely if someone is in the situation of owning their own home and have considerable savings, then access to such services should be considered on a subsidised basis, if at all. Reserve the free access for the families on low incomes, paying high rent or mortgage payments with little funds left to cover their basic living expenses. They have limited disposable income; let the people who have adequate disposable income, pay for their own healthcare costs.

I believe we have a very long road before there will be greater equity in our communities be it for healthcare, education, affordable housing, gender or cultural matters. We really need to consider very carefully the candidates we choose to elect to our government of all levels for change to happen. We need collaboration, transparency and a commitment to work towards a common goal of fairness and equity among the greater population of our country.

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