Sunday, 24 July 2022

So childcare fees have gone up again

 and if you want to keep your local doctor in a small country town then be prepared to pay more too?

I am actually far more concerned about the latter than the former. Childcare is actually cheap at $131 a day on average. Paying "the gap" in order to see the doctor is much less of course but it could save your life or the life of someone you love.

I know paying for child care seems incredibly expensive - and yes it is if you have a child in care for five full days a week. This is why so many people also use the Grandparent Care centres. The enormous financial contribution made by grandparents to the upbringing of the young is not generally acknowledged. It should be. 

We also give very little thought in general to the amount it costs to have and bring up children. Every family in this street has given some thought to it and stopped at two children. They argue things like "they will have each other if something happens to us", "it's not good for children to be an only child" and so on but they also state that the cost has been an issue. When both parents work and there are no grandparents to call on then child care is seen as the alternative. 

You wouldn't get good in-home child care from a non-family member who expected to be paid for $130 a day. There would be all the other expenses of employing someone on a regular basis as well as all the other factors to consider.  So paying that $130 is actually pretty cheap - and it doesn't last forever. Children eventually go to school. Many families get rebates too. If they didn't it wouldn't pay them to go to work.  It is other taxpayers who are helping them out.

So why do people expect to be able to go and see their doctor and have that doctor "bulk bill" so that the patient has to pay nothing? The idea that the Medicare levy pays for this is of course what people are mistakenly thinking. It doesn't. Children don't pay the levy, pensioners don't, those on other social-welfare benefits don't. The more you earn the more you pay too. 

I do not go to the doctor unless I know I must. Visits to the doctor are for genuine medical issues, annual 'flu jabs and the things I cannot do for myself such as the renewal of prescriptions. I don't go because I am sneezing (and that was the pollen count).  Yes, I am fortunate in that I have enough intelligence to know the difference between a headache and a brain tumour. 

The former will probably disappear with a couple of pain killers - if I even need that. I need to see the doctor when such symptoms persist. I know that not everyone knows about such things. Of course I get anxious. They get anxious and even frightened. It may be that they also need to see the doctor.  The problem however has been that too many people have been demanding to see a doctor and get antibiotics for the common cold - and not pay for the privilege.

I really am less concerned about childcare fees though. Not being able to see a doctor when we need to could end up being very very expensive indeed. It's why we need doctors in rural areas - and we all have to be prepared to help pay for them.

No comments: