In February I turned eighteen, and like other eighteen-year-olds, I was looking forward to indulging in trying and being able to buy my first beer. However, this was not what I wanted most. As a belated birthday gift from Jonas Gahr Støre, I want to pick up the treat for free.
Two weeks ago, the government submitted a bill to abolish the freedom to choose treatment.
They choose to do so now, despite the fact that 17,800 patients are using the freedom to choose treatment. These are people who have eating disorders and mental challenges, and are waiting for treatment or surgery. At the same time, queues for operations and treatments are growing, and deaths from overdose in the country have never been higher.
When Solberg’s government began the work of free choice of treatment, they probably did not believe that anyone could be able to dissent. The concept is very simple – anyone in Norway has the opportunity to choose a treatment site for themselves, regardless of whether it is public or private.
The state will take the bill.
This way, we will have shorter health waiting lists, more professionalism and people will be able to get the treatment they want, regardless of income. For the Storre government, on the other hand, the most important thing seems to be to be against the policy that the Conservatives have introduced into the government. Regardless of whether it will make society better or not. The Støre government is betting on the health of patients when they now go to remove the free choice of treatment, and this is very frustrating.
Earlier in February, one could read about Per (87) at NRK having to wait four years for a cataract operation.
The Ophthalmologists’ Association says the situation is catastrophic, and the local hospital support association in Harstad believes the queues are inhumane. However, the government, led by Health Minister Ingfield Kirkul, is in favor of reversing the free-choice regimen for treatment.
It goes without saying that the public health service must continue, and it must remain the cornerstone of our social welfare system. However, we need an expanded health service with private entities that allow rapid treatment and protect the freedom of choice of patients.
The focus should not be on the ideological blinders of the Labor Party and the left-wing principle of “equality”, but on the needs of the patient. This is why we need a health service that is patient health service – not left.
The government’s refusal to choose the free treatment will only mean one thing, and that is that patients will be the biggest losers.
When the government chooses to abolish the free choice of treatment, the Labor Party chooses to put the system before the patient. Unfortunately, the law to reverse free choice of treatment is not the priority that requires longer waiting times, poor predictability, and less freedom of choice for the individual patient.
It’s a bill that takes us back to the future.
For Unge Høyre, it’s clear. This is not the time for reflection. We still need the free choice of treatment that allows the patient the freedom to choose the treatment where he wants help, when he needs help. Therefore, we must expand the system of free choice of treatment, so that more groups of patients have more freedom of choice, more people can receive the prompt treatment they are entitled to, and such patients who already use free choice of treatment can continue to do so. Use the system.
I also hope that the Støre government understands this, and that they fulfill not only my wish, but also the wish of many thousands of patients to be free to choose where to treat themselves.
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