What the hell has happened to our health system

What the hell has happened to our health system


A short time ago I booked in for a session with a new doctor at the Manuka Health Centre where I used to work as an acupuncturist for ten years until 2011 until I shifted to a new doctor at a different centre. With Dr. William Crawford in Canada for the last 2 years and unlikely to come back any time soon my time at the Connolly Street Medical Centre was pretty disastrous as detailed fully elsewhere. Intuition told me not to transfer my files back until I had spoken to the new doctor on the basis of the principle “if things look as if they cannot get worse they usually do”. By chance we looked at the Manuka Health Centre website and found the following.

The following is what caught our attention.

Basically, the Centre which still advertises the following on their website is introducing a three- tier system for their patients that seems to exceed Jacinda’s shenanigans  or MoH guidelines.  They still have the following on their website:

“Manuka Health Centre practises integrative medicine. The term integrative medicine refers to the blending  of conventional medicine and natural/complementary medicines and/or therapies along with lifestyle interventions and a holistic approach – taking into account the physical, psychological, social and spiritual wellbeing of the person. Our GP’s aim to use the most appropriate, safe and evidence-based modalities available.”

Then, they somewhat presumptuously announce: 

“..If you do not share our health philosophy we may not be the right practise for you to enrol with”.

We decided to check on what was happening elsewhere to see if any other organisations are insisting on a phone or video consultation to see a one-on-one consultation (read, ‘medical consultation’ because a phone conversation is not that). We rang Wellington hospital and the after-hours clinic to check if they had a policy that was in any way similar.

Neither of them did.

Their only policy was that patients wear a mask but were otherwise welcome to come in, vaccinated or not. On Monday morning I rang the Connolly Street clinic and gave the same message and stated that they did not have any streaming before the consultation.

What they did not tell me I will detail below. When we turned up for the consultation we had a an eerie feeling because the car park was completely empty and when we went in the clinic was completely empty apart from staff.

It was almost as if they had emptied the whole centre for this consultation with the “unclean”, although I never mentioned vaccination status and they didn’t ask.

My consultation was with a Dr.Tom Spiegler who arrived in June in the midst of the pandemic at the very time when the best New Zealand doctors were being frozen out of their professions and it was well-nigh impossible to find vacancies in the MIQ quarantine sessions.

He came across in his bio as if he was straight out of the pages of the Guardian, and that impression was only amplified in the conversation. I told him that I had had the intention of discussing my medical condition before moving over but wanted, first of all, to hear his explanation for the Centre’s “streaming” policy.

I showed him a copy of the policy and explained how we had not been able to find any duplication of this elsewhere and showed him the guidelines from the Ministry of Health.

In it the Ministry  guidelines say that:

“in most cases, with vaccinated staff and other precautions in place, that the risks are unlikely to be high enough to provide sufficient justification to not follow the Code.”


An individual seeking healthcare cannot be refused care because of their beliefs. In this case an individual who believes that a vaccine is harmful cannot be refused care for that belief.

They point out clearly that:

The management of unvaccinated individuals through an alternative pathway is highly likely to negatively impact access to care which must be balanced by a demonstrable benefit.

When the rate of community spread is zero or very low, the risk of transmission from any consultation will be very low, unless a person is known to be at higher risk because they are symptomatic or a close contact of a confirmed case.

They say:

In addition, in this situation the difference in the risk of transmission between vaccinated and unvaccinated people will be negligible. When the prevalence of disease in the community is high, the risk of transmission from any individual is not negligible and is likely to warrant application of mitigations for all consultations.

That is hardly the situation we are in now.

Most surprisingly (given the 24/7 government and media propaganda) the MoH says the following.

“When there is high COVID-19 vaccine coverage (i.e., above 80 percent of eligible people are fully vaccinated), transmission is more likely to occur from a vaccinated than an unvaccinated individual.”

His first reaction was quite predictable.  He stated that they are not denying treatment but trying to keep everyone, including the unvaxxed “safe” (sic).

The fact that the unvaxxed are put into a special category and have to have to PAY to see if they are worthy of a consultation which they will again have to pay for and they seemingly vacated the whole premises for this consultation speaks otherwise. 

He ignored most of my points so I presented him with the latest data from the United Kingdom which shows that the majority of deaths are from people who are vaccinated along with explaining that 100 to 300 or more people have died from vaccine reactions in New Zealand since the beginning of the years compared with the 50 who have died WITH covid from co-morbidities or in one case, gunshot wounds.

His response was straight out of the government/media playbook – straight out of Jacinda’s authoritarian “single source of information“. 

Quite simple, he said.

Only natural that more vaxxed people should be denying “because they are in the MAJORITY.”

We could not get. anywhere close to agreeing that the vaccines are ineffective and becoming less so with every day.

For him a vaccine is a vaccine….is a vaccine, although one provides a degree of protection while the other provides none and in fact increases the odds of getting covid.

It was like I was talking to someone just quoting from Newshub or Radio New Zealand (or perhaps more appropriately, the Guardian). 

One might have expected that as a health professional talking to someone who clearly knew what he was talking about that he could have provided some real evidence to counter mine.

I have sort of been waiting for that evidence for 2 years but it has never been forthcoming and now I had a professional sitting in front of me was still not forthcoming.

There were only two possibilities: either this doctor was monumentally ignorant and should not be sitting where he was or, more worryingly, knows it all and has been instructed to just counter any arguments with propaganda points that I could have gleaned from any “news” broadcast.

I think I know what it is.

Clearly very uncomfortable by this time he shut off the consultation although I was paying quite handsomely for his time


Intrigued by the empty centre the day before we decided to check with the clinic I am still registered with so drove down to have a look. The first difference was that the door was locked and we had to be admitted.

Compared with the completely empty Manuka Health Centre there were quite a few people in the waiting room.

Compared with the Manuka Health Centre where patients are completely separated from reception and staff by plexiglass (which you can see below) this was absent at Connolly Street.

This is Pam with nurse, Kristen Birch who part from one senior doctor is the sole hangover from when I worked there 12 years ago. If you look you can see that the reception area is completely blocked off by plexiglass.

We decided to drive back to the Manuka Health Centre to find three cars outside in the carpark and just one person in the waiting room.
That is a long way from the 10 years I worked there when it was a happening place and attracted all those seeking an alternative to conventional practise – something,I hasten to add,  it really never did – it was really a conventional practise that sold vitamins and minerals. 
At 10 am on a Tuesday the carpark would always have been completely full along with the waiting area. All of this has left me with a sinking feeling that I am now left marooned (even more than previously) without hope of medical care. More seriously, it has left me with the question:
The System was already pretty useless, especially for those with chronic conditions and my impression has been of a system that has left differential diagnosis behind and practises algorithmic (AKA “cookbook’) medicine that is increasingly dependant on protocols and dictates from the health bureaucrats – I think the weasel word for this is “harmonising”.
As if to underscore this I heard a story in the weekend of someone who felt compelled to spend $150,000 for successful treatment of her multiple sclerosis in Russia.
MS is a pretty well-recognised condition They can’t treat this in New Zealand?!! 
It seems not.

3 thoughts on “What the hell has happened to our health system

  1. I avoid going to the “doctor” at all costs. I’d have to be in extreme pain or unconscious to take that chance. I’ve not trusted them to be competent for at least 15 years, but in the last year or two this has changed. It’s not just incompetence, it’s willful malpractice, either through wilful ignorance, cowardice or authoritarianism.

  2. First, feedback on the two commenters above.

    Yes, Ian Melrose, it certainly stood out, all the thought and work that went into the article.

    And K.S.’s concern, I can readily appreciate. What is at the root of a good deal of the malpractice is simply lack of proper attention, or poor attention span as we would say, or distractedness (e.g., leaving surgical tools in the body, wrong dosages in dispensed medicine, and so on). The current modern mind is given too much to deal with. There is also misdiagnosis of what’s ailing patients. Meanwhile, during the Covid period, the entire medical and health system is being stressed to the max.

    Countries with small populations do not have the full complement of expertise to adequately cover the great variety of medical problems patients bring to the system. Canadians can find themselves searching the US for someone who will recognize what they have. A case in point about 20 or more years back was Lyme Disease, contracted through the bite of certain ticks; doctors simply refused to acknowledge that patients suffering from Lyme Disease actually had this pernicious malady. However, if the patients looked to the States, the latter would certainly be able to find a practitioner who could provide treatment (as the US has ten times the population of Canada).

    The overall cast of the NZ health system shows an Aquarian Age flavour which favours the concerns of the Collective over that of the Individual. A good friend and I have been discussing this. As one with astrological smarts, my friend pointed out that, having been on the threshold for some years already, we finally crossed the line of this ‘Civilizational Change’ (his term) on the 9th of January 2020 when there was a powerful planetary conjunction as seen from Earth, which he interpreted as our current passage ‘between a rock and a hard place.’

    The same Aquarian Age flavour was unmistakably present in Australia’s reaction to Novak Djokovic.

    And January 9, 2020, was the day the Chinese government announced the presence of the coronavirus in the city of Wuhan and surrounding area.

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