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  Issue No 48 Official Organ of LaborNet 31 March 2000  




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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

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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*   Issue 48 contents

In this issue
*  Interview: The New President
At the end of her first week in the job, new ACTU President Sharan Burrow trades emails with Workers Online.
*  Health: Making Sense of Medicare
Nurses lift the lid on the Medicare myths as they shape up for a major national campaign.
*  Unions: Bush Bashing
The Finance Sector Union is taking to the road to pressure the government to impose community service obligations on banks.
*  Politics: The French Connection
While Victorian building unions are seeking a 36 hour week, Eurpoean nations like France are taking a more communcal approach to working time.
*  Economics: Mutual Obligation
New statistics show that an increasing number of people are volunteering to contribute to the community.
*  History: Living Library - Part II
More on the rich labour history that is housed within the walls of Sydney's Mitchell Library.
*  International: Russian Revolution
Russian trade unions are calling for the revision of a draft Labour Code, against the backdrop of Presidential elections.
*  Review: Casino Royale
Laurie Aaron's new book is sparking a lively debate about how a progressive agenda can be adapted to the challenges of globalisation.
*  Satire: Chop ‘em Up and Stick ‘em in Acid”
The West Australian Government is poised to pass Pakistani-style sentencing laws.

»  Workers Demand Internet Access to Organise
»  ILO Condemns Australian Labor Laws
»  Flying Doctor Grounds Aussie Jobs
»  Bank-Bulance Hits the Road
»  April Deadline on Olympics Pay Claim
»  Pressure Builds on Stellar Contract
»  Shares Plummets But Rio Bosses Get Millions
»  Nurses to Launch Medicare Campaign
»  Action Boosts Wages for Disabled Workers
»  SA Workers Close Building Industry
»  Political Economy for Activists
»  Workers to Set the Tunes for Dili Streets
»  OBITUARY - George Petersen (1921-2000)

»  The Soapbox
»  Sport
»  Trades Hall
»  Tool Shed

Letters to the editor
»  An Open Letter to Ansett
»  Moved by Wal's Life Story
»  The Problem With Mandatory Sentencing

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