Nurses, midwives, mental health, pharmacists and allied health professionals, medical
scientists and Medicare administration staff have come together in the last few days
before the election to save Medicare.
The campaign will be led this week by an open letter from unions representing more than
600,000 frontline healthcare workers and Medicare administration staff including the
Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation, the Health Services Union, the Australian
Services Union and the Community and Public Sector Union.
There is growing community concern over the future of Medicare amongst health
professionals who believe the Turnbull Government has a disturbing track record that
must be taken into account in regard to our precious universal healthcare system.
Polling consistently shows Australians value Medicare enormously and that healthcare is
a fundamental issue for many when they are casting their vote.
The open letter outlines the attacks on Medicare committed by the Federal Government,
including the freezing of rebates for general practitioners, $57 billion in cuts to public
hospitals and many other budgetary measures that make accessing healthcare more
expensive for Australians.
Quotes attributable to Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) President Ged Kearney:
“Unions representing more than 600,000 healthcare workers and Medicare staff have
come together to save Medicare from the Turnbull Government.”
“The best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour, and the Liberals have a track
record of attacking Medicare.”
“They have attempted to introduce a co-payment to visit your GP and now they have
refused to back down on the freezing of Medicare rebates for general practitioners until
2020, which is a co-payment by stealth.”
“There is no doubt in our minds that Malcolm Turnbull has a plan to turn Medicare into
an American-style, user-pays healthcare system.”
“If any part of the system is placed in corporate hands, Medicare is placed at risk.”
Media Contact: Siobhan Lyttle 0418 751 579
Jessica Kendall 0414 679 857