More unintended managed health care consequences

When it comes to managed health care, the law of unintended consequences just keeps rolling along. The news out of England today tells the story of a woman who has been barred from New Zealand, where her husband has already moved, because she is “too fat.” Apparently in the conflict between politically correct thought and its managed care economy, the latter wins. Anyway, here’s the story:

A British man who moved to New Zealand has been told by officials that his wife is too fat to join him.

Richie Trezise, 35, a rugby-playing Welshman, lost weight to gain entry to New Zealand after being rejected for being overweight and a potential burden on the health care system.

His wife, Rowan, is now on a strict diet. However, she has been battling for months to shed the pounds so they can be reunited and live Down Under.

Mr Trezise moved to New Zealand in September after shedding two inches from his waist on a crash diet. He said that if his wife was not allowed to come out by Christmas they would abandon the idea of emigrating.

His employer-backed skills visa was initially rejected by immigration officials when they discovered that his body mass index, or BMI, was 42, making him morbidly obese.

BMI measures a person’s weight in relation to their height. Anything over 25 is regarded as overweight, and 30 or above is obese.

But his wife Rowan, who planned to emigrate with him, has failed to overcome the obesity test.

Mr Trezise is a submarine cable specialist, who has also served in the Army.

He said yesterday: “My doctor laughed at me.

“He said he’d never seen anything more ridiculous in his whole life. He said not every overweight person is unhealthy or unfit.

You can read the rest of the story here. It’s obvious that New Zealand’s medical bureaucracy has not yet caught up with recent scientific findings showing that excess weight does not automatically correlate with ill health.

In the old days, when immigrants to America arrived at Ellis Island or Angel Island (the entry point for immigrants from Asia), the doctors looked for contagious diseases and mental illness. I was raised in an era when we were taught at school (and are still taught at the Ellis and Angel Island museums) to be horrified by the insensitivity of it all. Indeed, even now, some on the Left seem inclined to turn a blind eye to immigrants with nasty things like untreatable, highly infectious tuberculosis, fearing that it could be used as a wedge issue to tighten immigrant controls. But in New Zealand, in the name of managed care, you can keep out the people who just don’t look right. That makes Ellis Island look almost humane.