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SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (250,201)
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Posts: 26,963
10/30/13 6:10 A

But in the US - don't you guys have to pay for your surgery and hospitalization? In NZ Residents and Citizens don't have to in a Public Hospital. I think THAT is the reason - because he would be entitled to it for free, and given that knee surgery is needed, and quite likely coronary care, too, with the average stay in the hospital here being 5 days per admission for coronary problems, it isn't cheap. in a way it is like Insurance Companies - they have to right to refuse cover, and in a way, that is what our Government has done - refused to cover this person.

According to, the most obese countries in the world are as below, in order
US with 34% adult population
Mexico with 30%
NZ with 27%
Australia with 25%
UK with 25%
Canada is 6th with 24%

Given that NZ has only got a population of 4.5 million and a large portion of the population is retired, on benefits (unemployment, sickness, single parents) or children not working, then there is only a small workforce to support that public hospital and the mostly cheap/free medication we get. A person that obese is a strong risk of a heart attack and Diabetes, as well as other joint replacements and health issues. That is a huge strain on a small economy, especially given that there are some potentially life-saving medications we can't get here because they are far too expensive.


TRYINGHARD54 Posts: 5,292
10/30/13 6:01 A

the article said he had lost 50 pounds, and was trying... I say that's one place I wouldn't visit,
Fat or thin...

FAITHP44 Posts: 8,710
10/30/13 5:59 A

I live in UK where it seems that people come from all over the place for our benefits and free healthcare. Rumour has it that anyone of pensionable age coming into the country qualifies for a pension. Many Brits are not prejudiced against any people group - but struggle to see the sense in all this when Brits are having to work longer and longer because the government can't afford to pay the pensions that we have paid into all our working lives. (I'm one of the lucky ones - just old enough not to be affected by it and I got my state pension at 60.)

I looked into the possibility of emigrating to Australia some time ago but, even though I'm financially independent with my state pension and teaching pension and my own (paid for) house, I don't meet the financial criteria for emigrating to Australia so it's not an option. Are they prejudiced against me? Not personally, certainly - but they're safeguarding their economy. Am I disappointed? Possibly. Offended? No of course not. That's the rules and they're entitled to make those rules.

Sometimes, because we struggle with weight issues, we can get over sensitive and feel people are prejudiced against us - and sometimes we can get silly about it. Are the clothing manufacturers prejudiced against me because they don't make size 8 clothes to fit me? Of course not - it's just a fact of life. If I want to wear size 8 clothing it's me that's got to change, not the manufacturers.

Should someone needing knee replacement and with additional health risks assume they can have residency of a country and get that surgery for free? Of course not. Sometimes it's us that have to change, not everyone else.

I'm really glad things are sorted out for the man in question and, although it's hard for him, it's probably a fair solution all round.

TCANNO SparkPoints: (351,144)
Fitness Minutes: (205,777)
Posts: 69,274
10/30/13 5:36 A

Just think how bad it would be if the US, UK and Australia did this as obesity is the biggest killer in those countries (as told by the media).
As most of us know on SP it is a matter of getting your head round the problem and that is not what every one is doing, BUT we did.

This story is not nice but we can only hope it has a good ending in 23 months

10/30/13 5:08 A

Can you honestly put your hand on your heart and say that you are not prejudiced against ANY group? Old people? Teenagers? Black People? White people? People who wear clashing colours, who mix floral prints with stripes? Ginger people? People with bad teeth? Honestly?

Well, in that case you are entitled to object to prejudice against obese people.

SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (250,201)
Fitness Minutes: (41,449)
Posts: 26,963
10/30/13 2:55 A

Did you click on the link in my previous post? - this one

because it explains more than the original post does.


Edited by: SLIMMERKIWI at: 10/30/2013 (02:58)
DEANNA0725 SparkPoints: (22,611)
Fitness Minutes: (13,947)
Posts: 2,072
10/30/13 2:48 A

That just makes me sad, but I suppose there is more information to this story then we see.

BUNNYKICKS Posts: 2,433
10/30/13 12:51 A

It's 4% chance of having a heart attack *within 5 years time*. Which sounds about right. I would say that lots more than one-quarter of morbidly obese 47 year old men will make it past their 52nd birthday...

GOALWTIN7 SparkPoints: (2,121)
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Posts: 306
10/30/13 12:42 A

The article said he's 5'6" and over 300 with ONLY a 4% chance of having a heart attack. I disagree, at his age, height and weight, I would say a 75% chance.

SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (250,201)
Fitness Minutes: (41,449)
Posts: 26,963
10/29/13 11:11 P

I am a New Zealander and read the articles in the papers and watched the TV news regarding this case. The chef in question was not only morbidly obese, but needed knee surgery, which, if he gained residency, meant that the New Zealand health system would have to pay for it, and that is over $20,000. There was a big outcry in NZ over this, but most of us COULD understand the reasoning (small country therefore financial resources) - but not the lack of compassion.

Below is a link to the NZ Herald for an updated article on this.


JANIEWWJD SparkPoints: (575,838)
Fitness Minutes: (349,247)
Posts: 16,289
10/29/13 10:40 P

All I can say is: OMG!!!!!

LADYCJM SparkPoints: (57,456)
Fitness Minutes: (36,342)
Posts: 2,545
10/29/13 10:05 P

What can you say but WOW!

BLUENOSE63 SparkPoints: (108,021)
Fitness Minutes: (82,255)
Posts: 2,954
10/29/13 6:55 P

Wow, I never knew you could deport someone for being overweight! Sad commentary on society in NZ. I have read that in the US, people are penalized on their paycheques for being overweight via higher insurance rates. Not so here in Canada but you never ever know what is down the pipe!

EXOTEC Posts: 3,327
10/29/13 6:06 P

well, durn! I'll see if I can cut-n-paste.
Here's the cut-n-paste of the video transcript:
Hi. I'm Art Caplan from the Division of Medical Ethics at the NYU Langone Medical Center.

Nobody likes fat people anymore. In medicine, we sure don't. We know that obesity is responsible for all manners of chronic illnesses that are causing problems for patients and driving up the healthcare bill. It is probably the biggest epidemic of disease that American doctors and many in Europe have to deal with.

It has become very popular to try to figure out ways to penalize people who eat too much. At one point, the Mayor of New York City thought that maybe we should reduce the size of drinks and sugary beverages that you could buy. A lot of places are insisting that they post calories. Of course, if you're showing up at McDonald's every day, it probably doesn't matter that you're reading the calorie chart; it's probably not a good behavior to begin with. But we are trying to take steps. Certainly, doctors talk to their patients and try to counsel them about ways to lose weight.

But what if, as a matter of public policy, the government started saying, "You know what? We're not dealing with fat people anymore. We're throwing them out of here."

If you think that that's fantasy, New Zealand just had a situation with 2 people who had migrated there 7 years ago from South Africa, a chef and his wife. The chef, when he arrived in New Zealand, weighed about 360 pounds. That was packed onto a 5'6" frame. His wife was not obese. After about 6 years, they applied for a renewal of their right to stay and work and run their restaurant in New Zealand, but they were told that they had to leave. He was too fat.
The government said that he is going to be a burden on their healthcare system. They didn't want him there. He and his wife, who isn't fat, had to get out of there. He has been there for 7 years and no one had said anything. And I have to add something else: He had lost about 50 pounds, so he was moving in the right direction. Still, the New Zealand government said, "No. We are deporting you because you're fat."

There are many ways to wage war on obesity. Deporting people is not one of them. I think we have to take a lesson here. It's important to say that there are all kinds of weaknesses and temptations that have led to our obesity epidemic. We took a long time to eat ourselves into the problem. It will take a long time to work our way out of the problem. But I don't think citizens should have to worry that they are not going to get benefits, that they are going to be penalized or, at the far extreme, thrown out of the country because they have a medical problem.

At the end of the day, I don't see obesity as different from many other bad habits and behaviors that people have. We're not telling the people who don't wear motorcycle helmets to go home, and we're not telling people who have dangerous occupations or play tackle football that they better leave our shores because they are going to drive up our healthcare bill. In fact, the fastest way to lower our healthcare bill is to get rid of everybody who is a sinner because then the hospitals will be empty.

The game of medicine is to try to figure out how to make people behave better, how to pursue their health, and not threaten them, penalize them, or make them pariahs.

Sad. Borders on the obscene, IMO.

Edited by: EXOTEC at: 10/29/2013 (18:09)
BELLAMEMAW Posts: 8,368
10/29/13 6:03 P

your link requires a password

EXOTEC Posts: 3,327
10/29/13 6:02 P

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