Long-term health care worker Zeta Henderson argues that the main lesson to be drawn from this second wave of COVID-19 in Victoria is that health care must be run as a service to the community.
The federal Coalition government’s reforms to private health insurance confirm its blind allegiance to a system most people do not support.
Most people prefer a universal public healthcare system, but ever since Medicare was introduced in 1984, successive governments have sought to divert public funds to the private health insurance sector.
The government spends about $6 billion annually on private health insurance rebates. Singles earning up to $140,000 and families earning up to $180,000 receive rebates of between 8.4% and 33.4%, depending on age and income.
From November 2016 until September 2017 I was as a guest of New South Wales Health. For much of that time I was in a desperate situation. I entered Campbelltown Hospital in septic shock and would certainly have died had it not been for the fabulous efforts of the doctors and nurses who treated me.
The hospital system is an excellent place for saving lives. Unfortunately, it is not geared for long-term inmates. The longer you have to stay, the more is likely to go wrong.
Federal government hospital spending rose by 80% in the decade to 2014, from $23 billion to $42 billion. This has led to a renewed push by conservatives for a new state income tax to fund health costs.
The historical and current injustices following the establishment of industry superannuation and the subsequent undermining of this important social policy initiative needs to be scrutinised.
The Fair Go For Pensioners coalition organised a rally on May 24 in response to the federal budget’s significant new restrictions for those on Centrelink payments, including older Australians.
Their main concerns are with the change to the pensioner assets test, attacks on Medicare, the threat to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, and a reduction on the right to overseas travel. The rally also addressed issues faced by the unemployed on Newstart, those on disability support and single parents.
Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) members in the federal Department of Human Services (DHS) have launched six days of rolling industrial action over the stalled enterprise bargaining process and the Centrelink robo-debt crisis.
Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support workers will strike and take other forms of industrial action over February 13 to 24.