One of the things that bemuses me about the recent "grass roots" opposition to US healthcare reform is that the people out protesting seem to be lower-middle class tradespeople, small business owners and independent professionals. I'm sure they're scared about the tax burden of financing a public option, but their current private insurance costs are exorbitant... seems to me that somehow they have been convinced to protest against their own best interests.
As I see it from a business/economic perspective, a well-run public health system is a net benefit to the business sector. It keeps the workforce healthy and removes risk around insurance premium hikes for employees. A healthcare system is as much a part of good economic infrastructure as roads, rail, fibre optic cables and anti-corruption legislation..
Adric, LOL - it's a good sign that at a time like this you can come up with such a brilliantly semi-obscure geeky reference.
All the very best for the upcoming coming treatment, and thanks for posting about the experience - a lesson to us all about getting unusual lumps, bumps and blurry things checked out early. Kia kaha.
Hear hear David, you cut to the chase as usual. Some slightly disjointed thoughts:
1. Earlier commenters mentioned that NZ looks like amateurs at overseas trade shows. I'd like to beg the opposite - at the three times I've been to the largest healthcare show in Europe, the NZTE-sponsored stand looked shit-hot compared to the Aussies, the British and the Yanks.The Swiss and Brazilians give us a run for our money though.
2. Encouraging kiwis to become export-earners 'because it's the right thing to do for the country' assumes we have a fairly broad understanding of macroeconomics and an almost missionary zeal to improve the nation as a whole. Does that spirit really exist in NZ?
3. Don't reverse the brain drain - let kiwis stay overseas, but encourage them to work for NZ companies in their offshore offices. I live in France, and have NZ friends in China, Korea, Japan who all speak the local language and could make a real contribution to their home country given the right opportunity. Kiwis abroad have a wealth of experience, networks and time spent in foreign markets - we need to use these "feet on the ground" more.
Really like the 3 step 'conversation' approach. It's a good way to summarise it. But it is easier said than done.
Regardless of how canny your PR strategy is, your success with the media depends on the personality of the spokesperson (normally with SMEs it'll be the founder). I worked in the marketing team of a NZ-owned tech company with a very clever & dynamic but 'quirky' CEO. It took us YEARS to get the local journos to take him seriously. Now he's regularly quoted in the press, but we had some fun getting him (and the company) to that point.