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I always find it weird when doctors start spouting ideology that is counter to the ideals of public health, education and social services. More than 90% of doctors support public services for a reason. There is strong evidence that social services, healthcare and education are paramount to improving overall health outcomes. Scratch that – it’s not “strong evidence”, it’s fact.

So when doctors start spouting extreme right wing ideology, I wonder why. Are they stupid, wilfully ignoring the evidence because they are selfish or just evil?

I don’t really know. Some of it is picking and choosing – I don’t really blame those who don’t like Julia Gillard or the Labor Party, and I can understand a desire to liberalise the economy. There are things that are broadly considered “right wing” such as globalisation that are, I feel, necessary and good and have no negative impact on basic services.

What I don’t like is supporting cuts to services while promoting overpriced private healthcare and education. Charging patients excessively. Promoting private schools and full fee places at medical school. Claiming that Tony Abbott will be some sort of saviour for the nation given his atrocious, immoral job as health minister.

I suspect it’s mainly selfishness and greed that drives some people. And some people think that the pursuit of “success” in the form of money is the good and right thing to do (à la the “American Dream“) and that not doing this is morally inexcusable and that such people don’t deserve anything. In which case punishing the poor or unemployed is necessary even though it has the side effect of making everyone worse off due to inefficiency (treatment is far more expensive than prevention) and lack of resources in the health sector.

Additionally, people such as myself who wish to work almost exclusively in the public sector, for lower pay overall, are then losers and enablers, thus also evil and not worthy of any of the prestige that public hospital positions hold.

A similar line of argument is pursued by those who don’t believe that fat people, drinkers or smokers should have public healthcare. Which is a good topic for another post.