Banning Won’t Stop Tanning

30 July 2009 11:42:00

Libertarianz health spokesman Dr Richard McGrath said he shares the concern of his Auckland colleague, cancer surgeon Isaac Cranshaw, over the incidence of melanoma skin cancers, but feels a ban on sunbeds is not the best way to tackle this problem.

“Making sunbeds illegal will encourage the growth of clandestine tanning clinics – after all, what are the owners of all these sunbeds going to do with their expensive machines if they can’t use them legally?” said Dr McGrath.

“I feel the most appropriate response to the high rates of melanoma in this country is through the education and incentivisation of individuals,” he added. “One way to achieve this is to more directly involve New Zealanders in funding their health costs, via a reduction in taxation.”

“A free market in health care would undoubtedly provide a greater choice of providers and shorter waiting times for treatment,” he added.

“The Libertarianz Party would prefer to see the government encouraging personal responsibility by handing control over their health care expenditure back from the government to the individual.”

“If a person has to arrange funding for their own healthcare, theye have a serious incentive to look after themselves by addressing various risk factors in their lifestyle, such as exposure to ultraviolet rays.”

“The most effective way to do this is to privatise the health system, so that funding streams would originate from individuals, families, ethnic groups, iwi, charities, friendly societies and insurance companies, by voluntary contract rather than then current method of coercive involuntary taxation.”

“If sunbeds were banned, their importation could be made difficult, but this would encourage a new criminal underground industry in sunbed construction and sales, and result in a lowering of safety standards and quality control,” Dr McGrath said.

“It seems likely that people will still want to darken their skin pigmentation through exposure to ultraviolet light. Educating people about safer options, in order to effect attitudinal and behavioural change, rather than instituting draconian bans, is a more peaceful response to the problem of high skin cancer rates.”

For more information, please contact:

Dr Richard McGrath
Libertarianz Leader
Phone: 027 322 2907
Email: [email protected]

Libertarianz: More Freedom, Less Government