” … MSD did during 2008 conduct a nation-wide “training program ” for the “designated doctors “, who they use for getting second opinions, assessments and recommendations on recipients of, or applicants for, sickness and invalid’s benefits (now called deferred jobseeker and supported living benefits)”…” With the introduction of the Future Focus policies in 2010 the criteria for being considered sick, disabled and thus incapacitated to do any work, has been tightened substantially. WINZ expect their own Health and Disability Advisors, and the designated doctors they regularly use and work with, to now primarily look at what a client CAN DO, rather than what they CANNOT DO!”
On July 21st I posted an article on welfare reforms indicating that being on a benefit is now considered by the powers that be, addictive and bad for one’s health. Since 1995 (not too long note, in the wake of late ’80s Rogernomics) paradigms and policies have been changing. Since 2008 certain NZ GPs have been undergoing training in the latest paradigm, behind the scenes, and unbeknown to many of us, to promote the new rationale & its implementation. A bizarre rationale that will tell you they are considering your long term good health by denying you an income if you are unable to work.
With the introduction of the Future Focus policies in 2010 the criteria for being considered sick, disabled and thus incapacitated to do any work, has been tightened substantially. WINZ expect their own Health and Disability Advisors, and the esignated doctors they regularly use and work with, to now primarily look at what a client CAN DO, rather than what they CANNOT DO! “A television expose (or documentary) on what has been going on at ACC (’60 minutes’ programme, TV3 on 09 Sept. 2012, available via ‘On Demand’ or You Tube showed what appalling strategies were followed there. It was revealed that ACC targeted complex, high cost claimants, by using preferred, hand-picked medical assessors, to prepare reports that favoured ACC”.
The long and the short of it is, the current Nat regime is out to cut costs. We already know that being jobless can breed hopelessness and despair … contrary to government spin most people actually want work in order to live comfortably and provide for their families. That’s not rocket science. And we also know there is no work available, that is not rocket science either. All this time they’ve been quietly dismantling the welfare state. Calling benefit receipt addictive neatly shifts the blame off the system and onto the recipient.
Don’t fall for it and don’t assume any guilt. This is a system run by people who have us all $114 billion in debt at $172 interest per second … with the wealthy taxed 2.8% and the minimum wage taxed 28%. Go figure. It is useful however to blame the vulnerable and weak and has been the way of the wealthy since before the banking industry began. The ‘let them eat cake’ brigade is nothing new. Just different trappings.
These new changes that began in the ’80s saw benefits slashed by $50 per week! A system that undermined full employment and created any welfare dependency they are now pretending to be concerned about, then ordered austerity measures (for low income people) to balance the books. There was of course no corresponding belt tightening as they called it, for the wealthy elite. This ‘working smarter’ budget was really the result of predatory loans taken out by irresponsible governments two decades earlier. Of course with IMF (or any other) loans always come conditions as they are simply leverage to control other peoples’ land and resources – via the back door. Remember this?
Those sweeping economic changes were precursors to what is going on now with our welfare system, the original safety net for those who fall through the cracks. Under full employment, providing food, shelter, warmth, education and health care were very achievable. Since Rogernomics, that has changed. Government departments and District Councils (enter your district council at the link & see) have become corporations that now run on a business model (some of us have noticed this) … the maximization of profits has taken precedence over people. That is their legal mandate. Even your country Kiwis is now a corporation. At the link on that, the question is raised, ‘can a corporation legally govern?’
Run as a corporation our pseudo-government is heading the way of other nations that are denying the sick and vulnerable mercy and care, controlling the food supply by denying the trading/growing of food , denying the option to choose natural healing over pharmaceuticals and making it illegal to collect rainwater off your roof. And so it will escalate if TPPA gets full sway.
The New Welfare Paradigm
All indications are, that here has been a clear attempt to influence the views, perception and judgment of designated doctors, which has led to “bias” of doctors involved (mostly GPs) when making assessments, decisions and recommendations about beneficiaries to Work and Income.
So, with the new restructuring agenda … came job cuts, funding cuts and the dismantling of everything pretty much that Aotearoa once stood for. And Doctors who formerly filled forms declaring a person was unfit for work, have been encouraged in the new model. Prescribing a benefit was actually going to be dangerous for their health.
Dr David Bratt training on why being on a benefit is bad for your health: At the source of this video (Youtube) you can watch the whole series
For further information on the history of this retraining of health professionals go to accforum.org
Following are some quotes from there:
“Major social welfare reforms came into effect in July 2013. They have led to some changes of the law and processes. WINZ are continuing to apply an ever more rigorous, yes very questionable approach, as they have already done since at least 2008. With the introduction of the Future Focus policies in 2010 the criteria for being considered sick, disabled and thus incapacitated to do any work, has been tightened substantially. WINZ expect their own Health and Disability Advisors, and the esignated doctors they regularly use and work with, to now primarily look at what a client CAN DO, rather than what they CANNOT DO! That is of course a bit of a catchy but ambiguous phrase, and naturally it can lead to subjective ways of diagnosing and assessing persons, as to what they can individually do or not do when it comes to any work activity.”
The MSD has long been concerned about the growth of sickness and invalid’s beneficiary numbers, and hence looked at possible ways to contain the trend of more persons qualifying and going onto these types of benefit. The following extract from a report by Dr Neil Lunt, published in the Social Policy Journal of New Zealand, from March 2006 (Issue 27), under the section headline The background to reforming SB and IB, page 82 gives a brief insight, of what moves were made under the then National led government in the 1990s:
National’ s Welfare to Work brand (Player 1994, Ministry of Social Policy 2001) saw a new approach to medical certification for SB and IB. National’ s attempts at reform saw the introduction of the Designated Doctor Scheme in September 1995, with designated doctors having responsibility for assessing benefit eligibility, certifying applications for SB at 13 and 52 weeks, and certifying grants for IB, and recommending a possible review (12, 18, 24 months). From 1998, there was an alignment of SB rates with UB rates for new grants and the introduction of the Community Wage in place of UB and SB. In October 1998, the designated doctor review scheme was revised and doctors signing the certificate were able to certify SB for four weeks and then at 13-week intervals. For IB, designated doctors certify the granting of a benefit, with review being recommended by these doctors for two years, five years, or never. During the first part of 1999, there was also the trial of work capacity assessment for those with sickness, disability, or injury. A Phase one trial was undertaken but Phase two was never completed. The work capacity process for IB and SB sought to identify the level of work, if any, a beneficiary was capable of, and to determine what assistance would help them move into paid work (abridged from Wilson et al. 2005: 5 Table 1.1). Read more here.
The ‘independent’ designated Doctors are doing their best to push you off welfare into a jobless black hole of hopelessness and despair. Note the climbing suicide rate now. Those who create financial recessions show no mercy for such states of mind. Profit margins are more important.
“What is happening at MSD and WINZ at the moment may “appear” to be reasonable to many in the public, but there is much more to it than most think. The appointment of the Social Welfare Board by Paula Bennett shows that she and her government selected certain persons, who have also a strong “business” and staunchly resolute “work capacity” focused approach in reforming welfare in NZ. The appointment by Dr David Beaumont to the Social Welfare Advisory Board, a former chief advisor for ACC, and responsible for many appalling decisions there, gives reasons for utmost concern!
Ultimately the goal is to get as many persons off benefits and into any types of “open employment ” (on the market), which for sick and disabled will mostly be marginal, selected part time and casual work. The true agenda is cost saving, containing and possibly reducing beneficiary numbers, and the push to achieve this is now extremely forceful. It will cause immense pressures and in many cases actually harmful effects on person’s health. I honestly do not know how beneficiaries with mental illness and psychological conditions will cope. And we also know: The jobs are NOT there, even not so for the fit and healthy!
Most definitely there are many people, who have faced “designated doctor examinations ” that resulted in bizarre and clearly biased decisions, and in quite a number of cases the assessors or designated doctors being used did not have the particular, appropriate medical qualifications needed, to competently assess clients with specific and complex health conditions. GPs are the “standard ” “designated doctors ” now, also making decisions about mental health conditions they often have insufficient understanding of. Some handle a very high number of WINZ clients.
I hope this information will raise your awareness to these topics and issues, on which I can and will elaborate on a bit further in following ‘comments ‘.” SOURCE
Make no mistake, they have never been changing things ad hoc in Aotearoa. There is a definite agenda. Consider this quote from Arnold Toynbee way back in 1931:
“We are at present working discreetly, with all our might, to wrest this mysterious force called sovereignty out of the clutches of the local nation states of the world. And all the time we are denying with our lips what we are doing with our hands.”
Arnold Toynbee – International Affairs, p.809, November 1931
“All around the world, increasingly “socialist” central/local governments and councils, in collusion with the international bankers who fund them, are frantically getting deeper and deeper into unsustainable debt – or worse, are going bankrupt. Harsh austerity measures are being implemented, with drastic cuts in spending, privatization of assets and huge, onerous increases in rates and taxes on property owners – Is all this happening just by chance – or is it a deliberate plot? Is it a global phenomenon? Who is responsible? Where will all this eventually end? Using the small country of New Zealand in the South Pacific as an example, this account attempts to unmask exactly why all this is happening, and provides some unique answers how it may be stopped.”
Sound familiar? …. read Dr Naomi Jacobs’ ebook here.
The following satirical comedy sums up nicely what is now happening to our citizens. In no way is this intended to demean disabled or unemployed people – it simply illustrates how very ludicrous the system has become, and satire gets that point across very effectively. People with cancer are being forced to go find work! As the ‘WINZ’ worker here tells the client in the wheelchair, ‘if your hands work you can wash dishes’.
[Video credit Super City – see links at Youtube]
See our Agenda 21/30 pages for more info & links, &/or search categories for further related articles (at left of any page).
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