Ministry of Health and Education Policy Reviews
Public Secretary's Notes: Below are a collection of policy possibilities within the Ministry of Health and Education - as costed per quarter.
Note: Few areas of policy incite stronger emotions that the debate over abortion. On the 'pro-life' side, are arguments about the rights of the unborn child, and arguments are often made from a religious standpoint. On the 'pro-choice' side, there is the argument that the State should not have more say over what a woman does with her body than she does. Making any change to the States position on abortion requires a hefty amount of political capital.
Present Policy: Medical Necessity of Mother
Possible Options: Outlawed - Medical Necessity of Mother - Medical Necessity, Severe Disability, Rape, or Incest - With Medical Approval - On Demand
Note: Public libraries provide a number of services, acting as a focus for communities, providing access to information and literature to those on low incomes, and enabling people to learn new skills outside the normal educational establishment.
Present Cost: 450 million
Possible Range: 25 million - 450 million
National Science Agency
Note: In some countries, the majority of research is funded by private companies. State-sponsored science can be useful for investing in very long-term research projects or those that may not be commercially rewarding. The benefits of state sector research are freely available to the entire population, rather than patented by corporations.
Present Cost: 1,000 million
Possible Range: 50 million - 2,700 million
Note: A bitter battle has raged about the way children are taught science versus religion Scientists and Liberals consider it obvious that evidence based evolution should be taught in science classes. Some religious groups feel that it is wrong to teach evolution or 'Darwinism' as fact, when it remains an unproven theory or that creationism should be taught as an alternative theory in science. The government has to decide what is taught in our schools.
Present Policy: Highly Secular
Possible Options: Religious Fundamentalism - Religious Emphasis - Scientific Emphasis - Highly Secular - Anti-theistic
Note: The government has to take a view on whether it is best that all students be educated together in the same classroom, regardless of ability, or if it is desirable to place the most talented students in their own classes (which teach faster) or maybe even have dedicated schools for those of the highest ability.
Present Policy: Advanced Placement Classes
Possible Range: No Selectivism - Advanced Placement Classes - No Emphasis - Selective Schools - Bias Funding towards Selective Schools
State Health Services
Note: Although many citizens would be happy to pay privately for their own health treatment, there is an argument that the state has a duty to provide a minimum level of free health treatment for everyone regardless of income. Health provision can be expensive, so it's a matter of debate as to how much should be spent.
Present Policy: Emergency Operations (1,000 million)
Possible Options: Emergency Operations (-2,600 million - 1,000 million) - All Major Operations (1,000 million - 6,500 million) - Specialist and Serious Care (6,500 million - 12,500 million) - Limited GP Access and Prevention (12,500 million - 18,500 million) - Absolute Universal Access (18,500 million - 22,000 million)
Note: Free education for all ensures high levels of literacy and can be beneficial to the economy, especially those parts of the economy requiring a skilled workforce. The flip-side of this is that state education can be expensive for the government. Capitalists see state education as an unnecessary intervention in the free market.
Present Policy: Low Funding (4,300 million)
Possible Options: Minimal Funding (1,000 million - 2,700 million) - Low Funding (2,750 million - 6,250 million) - Moderate Funding (6,250 million - 9,500 million) - High Funding (9,500 million - 11,500 million)
Note: Technology colleges are 'specialist schools' with a focus on computer literacy, biotechnology and similar subjects. These state-run colleges receive special funding from central government in order to encourage a greater level of technological literacy amongst the future workforce.
Present Cost: 500 million
Possible Range: 135 million - 730 million
Mature Student Grants
Note: Adult education subsidies are a way to encourage people to re-train and continue their education after they have joined the workforce. This includes evening classes and distance learning resources. These schemes help to raise the overall educational level of the workforce.
Possible Range: 90 million - 300 million
Note: Investing public money in the arts is controversial with capitalists who see it as supporting uneconomic elitist entertainment, but others see it as vital to a countries culture, boosting our image on the world stage, and attracting tourists.
Possible Range: 20 million - 155 million
Note: A range of steps that the government can take to make alcohol purchase harder, from tightening the licensing requirements to sell alcohol and limiting or banning outdoor drinking, to an outright ban on all sale or consumption. A drastic measure, but more effective than taxes or public information campaigns in reducing consumption.
Possible Range: 10 million - 30 million
Ban Foreign-Language Religious Services
Note: Misunderstandings can lead to tragedies and nothing has caused more trouble and deaths in the past than religious conflict. The easiest way to prevent further trouble here is to ban foreign language religious service outright, avoiding further misunderstandings and unrest.
Possible Range: Legal - Illegal
Ban Private Schooling
Note: To make sure that school kids learn the right things and are not influenced by strange ideas, banning all private schools may be the right thing to do. Now that no more so called elite schools exist, every kid has now the same chance to learn and become something great, boosting equality in the process, as children from all classes and income levels mix together.
Possible Range: Home Schooling Legal - Total Ban
Ban Private Healthcare Providers
Note: Why should some people enjoy better or experimental healthcare while others have to toughen it out? Banning private healthcare will make sure that no one gets special treatment while everyone gets what is needed for him or her to get well again. Nobody's health should be determined by the size of their bank balance.
Possible Range: No Private Hospitals - ..and No Private General Practices - ..and No Private Specialists
Note: Not popular with liberal concepts of personal freedom, this policy represents a range of measures that the government can take to limit or eliminate smoking. At the lowest level this would be a ban on smoking in certain locations, or in public spaces, right up to a complete ban on the sale or consumption of all tobacco products.
Possible Range: 5 million - 25 million
Climate Change Media Campaign
Note: Government can pass laws, and make spending plans, but it can also tackle the issue of Climate Change by actively urging its citizens to reduce their emissions voluntarily. A public information campaign can persuade citizens not to waste energy and to choose environmentally friendly products, means of transport and even to eat less meat.
Possible Range: 10 million - 50 million
Climate Change Adaptation Funding
Note: Global warming has lead to increased frequency and severity of natural disasters. The Climate Change Adaption Fund finances large-scale projects from dams to weather satellites, from reforesting to water reservoirs. It might be expensive, but environmentalists and farmers call for this policy.
Possible Range: Minimal Scientific Monitoring (1,850 million) - Moderate Scientific Monitoring (3,450 million) - Major Prediction Systems (5,000 million) - World Leading Prediction Systems (6,700 million)
Compulsory Nutrition Information Labelling
Note: There is plenty of food out there that is not healthy, but companies have found clever ways to obscure that by making it look extra tasty or put the ingredients list in smallest print. This is now over with Compulsory Food Labelling: All foods must now display all the ingredients and additives in it, making it easier for people to choose the food they want to eat while remaining healthy.
Possible Range: 20 million - 60 million
Mandatory Foreign Language Education
Note: To understand their language is the first important step to understand other people. By introducing compulsory foreign language classes, schoolkids are taught a selection of foreign languages early on so they can later use them well. This will reduce racial tension while improving foreign trade and relations.
Possible Range: 16 million - 150 million
Mandatory Physical Education
Note: By going beyond the physical education once in a week in schools, this program will introduce fully fledged sports classes. Pupils will be encouraged to pick a field they like and train for it, later competing in school tournaments on a local, regional and even national and international level, if they are good enough. This will increase the health of our children.
Possible Range: 10 million - 60 million
Compulsory Water Meters
Note: The installation of water meters for every household, and the subsequent charging for water based on consumption is one very effective method for reducing water usage and preventing a water shortage, although it can be a long slow process to install meters for every house in the country.
Possible Range: 40 million - 340 million
Cyber-Bullying Awareness Campaign
Note: A program of adverts on TV, radio, online and billboards to warn parents and teachers to look out for signs their children are being bullied online, so that the problem can be spotted early and dealt with before it affects children's mental health.
Possible Range: 10 million - 45 million
Water Desalination Infrastructure Program
Note: Desalination plants are a way to make water suitable for human consumption using seawater as an input. Although expensive and energy intensive, it is a solution to a water shortage where other methods to prevent the shortage have failed or are insufficient or unpopular.
Possible Range: 75 million - 375 million
Narcotics Abuse Rehabilitation and Treatment
Note: Punishing people for taking illegal drugs only goes so far. What people really need is treatment, and a long term plan to get people off their dependence on narcotics. These schemes aim to fight the drug issue by reducing demand, instead of limiting supply.
Possible Range: 5 million - 30 million
Adult Technology Education Courses
Note: The modern day version of the internet is still relatively new and many of our elderly citizens struggle to use it. Their lack of tech skills result in increased cyber crime and the spread of fake news. By beginning a program with the purpose of educating adults on the use of modern internet-communication technology we may be able to address some of these problems.
Possible Range: 15 million - 135 million
Religious Schooling Subsidies
Note: Religious schools can achieve good academic standards. Their supporters make a case that the government should subsidize methods of education that are proven to be effective. Critics say that religion has no place in education and that the government cannot be seen to 'push' a particular religion on children.
Possible Range: 100 million - 650 million
Food Standards Agency
Note: A food standards agency is a branch of government dedicated to ensuring the safety and minimum nutritional standards of food supplied within the country. Farmers may regard the agency as an extra layer of bureaucracy and meddling, but public health campaigners see the agency as an essential line of defense between the consumer and unscrupulous food producers looking to cut costs.
Possible Range: 12 million - 35 million
Religious Oath of National Allegiance
Note: Adding religion to oaths given in public by our officials and troops will create a greater sense of honor and security to the public, giving them the feeling that what we are doing is the right thing to do. With righteousness on our side, nothing can go wrong.
Possible Options: Military Personnel Only - ..and Politicians - ..and All State Employees - All Citizens
Free Childhood Annual Eye Examinations
Note: Eye tests catch problems early and advise those with poor eyesight that they need glasses. Getting your eyes tested privately can be expensive, and it's a luxury many people just do without. Socialists believe that the universal provision of free eye tests are essential in providing a health 'safety net' for all.
Possible Range: 33 million - 67 million
Free Parenting Education
Note: Having a newborn child can be very taxing and exhausting for new parents. By introducing these free classes, parents can learn how to deal with this situation, how to raise their babies and have a normal life at the same time. It won't make the babies cry less, but it will make the parents more stress resistant and aware, plus they will meet other parents in the same situation.
Possible Range: 20 million - 125 million
Free School Meals
Note: Not only are free school meals a way of redistributing wealth by ensuring everyone can afford to feed their children, its also a way to ensure that children eat healthily rather than surviving purely on junk food.
Possible Range: 190 million - 770 million
Private Healthcare Vouchers
Note: A measure designed to encourage the growth of private health care whilst still enabling everyone access to it. Healthcare vouchers are issued by the state to everyone but can then only be spent in the private sector on health care. This is a different approach to pure state health care because with healthcare vouchers, the hospitals are privately run and the medical staff are no longer state employees.
Possible Range: 1,100 million - 20,000 million
Healthy Eating Awareness Campaign
Note: Through cooking shows, advertisements and specials in newspapers and other media, people are encouraged to be aware of what they eat, what the results of unhealthy food are and how to cook a good meal. This raises the overall health of the people while reducing obesity.
Possible Range: 15 million - 50 million
Human Cloning Research
Note: Stem cell research was just the first step. Human cloning is around the corner and our country can be on the forefront of this groundbreaking development. The religious are enraged, but rich prospective parents hope to make the dream of replicating themselves true.
Possible Range: 250 million - 3,150 million
Litter Awareness Campaign
Note: A campaign in popular media, designed to make people feel guilty about littering. No matter how much a fine on littering may be, this only works if people are being seen. But a guilty conscience will also work when someone is alone, thus making it far more effective in the long run.
Possible Range: 15 million - 50 million
Mandate National Anthem During Nightly News
Note: Flashy introductions for news shows may look fancy but it's missing the point: These news are for our people in our country. So we should make that clear and add a flair of patriotism and pride by having the national anthem played at the start of the news instead.
Possible Options: Only on the State Broadcaster - On All News Channels - News Anchor Must Lead
Mandate National Anthem in Schools
Note: Young people these days have lost all sense of belonging. Starting the day in school with the national anthem will boost their national pride and help disciplining them. They may not always like it but it's good for them.
Possible Options: 16-18 Year Olds - 14-18 Year Olds - 10-18 Year Olds - All Schools
Note: There are few who would disagree that organ transplant is an amazing technology but it requires a plentiful supply of donors. Sadly many people do not give the topic consideration. Some suggest that an 'opt-out' policy is best, with consent for donation assumed unless otherwise stated. Others suggest that this is no place for the state to interfere and explicit permission should be requested.
Possible Range: Requires Pre-Consent - May be Permitted by Next-of-Kin - Presumed Consent - Mandatory (no opt-out)
State-Sponsored Religious Broadcasting
Note: The voice of faith and reason needs to be heard to have an effect. Adding public religious broadcasts will do a great service in countering all the bad influences of modern mass media as well as making people value the right things again.
Possible Options: Time on State Broadcaster - Mandated Programming on All Channels - Whole Dedicated Channels
Note: As a measure to combat CO2, Tree-planting is relatively uncontroversial. However, some campaigners suggest this is treating the symptom, not the cause, and that CO2 should be reduced at source, not captured afterwards.
Possible Range: 2 million - 275 million
Regulate Social Media
Note: Social media can be fun, even beneficial, but regulation may be required to ensure that it is not full of fake news, conspiracy theories or is handing a large megaphone to extremists. Nobody likes the idea of the government dictating what is said online, but without regulation in some form, social media could cause serious damage to our society.
Possible Options: Ban Extremist Content - Obligate Take-Down Policies - Obligate Active Monitoring - Restrict to 16+ - Restrict to 3 Hours a Day - Ban Social Media
Note: Liberals will often argue that the education of our younger citizens should be kept entirely separate from any religious teachings. On the other hand, it's argued that some compulsory prayer in schools is a way of promoting moral values in our children.
Possible Options: With Parent Request - Optional Attendance - Mandated Weekly - Mandated Daily - Mandated Twice Daily
Private School Voucher Program
Note: A measure designed to encourage the growth of private schooling, whilst still enabling everyone to afford an education. School vouchers are issued by the state to parents for each child which they can then spend in the private sector on education. This is a different approach to pure state schooling because with school vouchers the schools are privately run and the teachers are no longer state employees.
Possible Range: 350 million - 12,000 million
Join the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI)
Note: For as long as man has looked up to the stars, we have asked ourselves if we are alone. Some see the search for extraterrestrial life an essential scientific endeavour. We can sponsor a branch of the SETI institute within our nation and attempt to scan what is or isn't out there.
Possible Range: 100 million - 550 million
Kodiak Civil Liberties Foundation
Note: This policy will establish a foundation that deals with the worries and problems of the poor and under-represented in our country. It will take away some of the worries these people have and gives them a better feeling of being included into society. It won't get them a better life directly, but at least some hope of a better future, and hope is very important to have.
Possible Range: 15 million - 60 million
Anti-Racism Media Campaign
Note: We can sponsor media content dedicated to embracing cultural and racial diversity, aiming to reduce racial tension. This includes specials in the media, small food markets with delicacies from around the world, community meetings, celebrations, and friendly competitions.
Possible Range: 11 million - 45 million
Note: A state-owned broadcaster can provide impartial and independent news without influence from corporate advertising. This can serve as a defense against biased or fake news, but a compulsory 'TV-tax' is not popular with everybody.
Possible Range: 75 million - 700 million
State Mental Health Services
Note: Mental illness costs billions in lost productivity. Beyond the economic impact, mental ill-health negatively affects millions each year. Typically, care for minor and moderate mental health issues are dealt within the private health sector. We may choose to cover the cost of mental health care to ensure citizens can access the help they rightfully deserve.
Possible Range: 350 million - 4,150 million
State Postal Service
Note: A state-owned and run postal service can make sense because it is a natural monopoly, and one where a universal service obligation (deliveries to all addresses for the same cost) is generally preferred. The postal service is also a large creator of employment.
Possible Range: -120 million - 200 million
State Water Company
Note: A state owned and run water company that can ensure everyone has access to clean water, even if subsidies are required.
Possible Range: -250 million - 1,950 million
Stem-Cell Research Grants
Note: A stem cell is a primitive type of cell that can be developed into most of the types of cells found in the human body. Some scientists claim that stem cell research offers great hope for curing diseases such as diabetes and multiple sclerosis. However, because stem cells are taken from discarded human embryos, many 'pro-life' and religious groups oppose their usage.
Possible Range: 22 million - 180 million
State University Tuition Contribution
Note: Although not all citizens will pursue a university education, governments can provide subsidies to students to encourage a more educated workforce. University grants also ensure equality of opportunity, as in their absence the cost of a university education can be beyond the reach of working class families.
Possible Options: Partial Fee Subsidies (110 million) - Full Fee Subsidies (380 million) - Partial Tuition for the Low Incomes (650 million) - Partial Tuition for All Students (910 million) - Full Tuition for All Students (1,200 million) - Full Tuition plus Living Stipend for All Students (1,500 million)
Water Conservation Education Program
Note: large population sizes along with global environmental devastation has resulted in worries regarding the future of water availability. To prepare for this, a water conservation education program may be enacted to be an effective way to discourage frivolous water usage.
Possible Range:50 million - 1,000 million
Youth Club Subsidies
Note: Free youth clubs ensure that teenagers have a 'place to go' which can help them to stay out of trouble, and in the long run, reduce the incidence of street crime. It can be resented by some wealthier taxpayers, who see it as an unnecessary expense, paid for by their taxes.
Possible Range: 5 million - 125 million
Regional Youth Government
Note: In any democracy it is of utmost importance to teach our kids how politics work and what can be achieved through it. By establishing regional Youth Government, young people can get first hand experience on a local and regional level, see that they can make a difference, and perhaps the leaders of tomorrow are being built here.
Possible Range: 22 million - 70 million