|Issue No 48||31 March 2000|
Nurses to Launch Medicare Campaign
Nurses are spearheading a campaign to protect the long-term future of Medicare, with a National Day of Action to coincide with World Health Day on Friday April 7.
The NSW Nurses Association is holding a public rally outside the Bankstown Medicare Office on the day, to argue the case for public health insurance.
The campaign is being held under the auspices of the Friends of Medicare and is backed by the Public Health Association of Australia.
"The biggest fear is that Government concern for increasing the number of privately insured patients in Australia could back-fire on our public health system," the say.
"There is a risk that the present policy direction could eventually entrench a
two-tier health system, where the quality of care is unequal between private and public sectors."
"Medicare works well because it is a universal system and everyone contributes to the system.
"The risk is that continuous increases in premiums for private health insurance will reach a point where privately insured individuals want to "opt out" of Medicare. Medicare would soon be on its knees if people in the higher income groups stopped paying the Medicare levy.
"Many of us can remember what a two-tier health system was like before Medicare was established. Those who have only ever experienced health care under our Medicare scheme have been most fortunate."
The Friends of Medicare campaign aims to ensure that Australians are not deprived of their rights to a good quality universal health care system. Medicare is worth fighting for and strengthening Medicare is our best option.
A Friends of Medicare Information Kit about Australia's health services has been prepared to get the facts out to the community, the media and the politicians. It can be found at http://www.nswnurses.asn.au
PHAA's partners in the Friends Alliance are the Health Issues Network, the Australian Nurses Federation, the Doctors' Reform Society, the Women's Health Network and the Australian Council of Social Service.
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Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005