28 August 2015


In Quarterly Essay No. 57, Karen Hitchcock, a doctor, wrote about aged care and many of the issues involved, financial and others, and what should be considered for the future with an ageing population.

As is usual practice with the Quarterly Essays, people are asked to respond to the essay just published and the responses are published in the following Quarterly Essay. in this case N0. 58, and the writer of the essay being responded to has a right of reply to the published letters and that right of reply is at the end of the rest of the correspondence.

There were 10 published responses and Karen Hitchcock's response was, in fact, number 11.

As stated previously, Hitchcock is a doctor. Of the 10 responses, 7 are by doctors, one is by a Fairfax journalist who writes on finance and economics, one is by an ex-senator who is currently Age and Disability Discrimination Commissioner, and one is a well-known writer who is herself in an aged care facility, and so writes from a position of practical experience of the aged care system.

There were no published responses from "the common herd" and people such as my partner and myself were not included in the correspondence.

It seems to me that this then begs the question as to who is writing for whom, and whether there were other letter-writers who are also not people in the public arena and whose voices remain unheard.

Our response was comprehensive and covered much ground of our day to day experiences, including living our lives as two openly gay very old geriatrics.

To me this means that much of what needed to be discussed has now been omitted and the exercise is therefore not successful in terms of outcomes.

Of course the Quarterly Essay allows only limited space and therefore there is a limit to what can be included, so it is somewhat of an exercise in futility, because it is such a vast subject and so much research still needs to be done.

My essay in response was published by me in this blog and can be found under GLTH Ageing and Quarterly Essay on 6 JUNE 2016.

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Preston, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
90 years old, political gay activist, hosting two web sites, one personal: http://www.red-jos.net one shared with my partner, 94-year-old Ken Lovett: http://www.josken.net and also this blog. The blog now has an alphabetical index: http://www.red-jos.net/alpha3.htm