Rallying to save our healthcare

Myself speaking at the rally to save our system of free healthcare

Myself speaking at the rally to save our system of free healthcare

Just three days into the new year I was asked to MC a rally against the latest elitist and cruel proposal from the Abbott government, a plan to end free healthcare in Australia by charging an upfront fee on all visits to a GP and possibly the hospital emergency room.

While the fee itself seems small, being suggested to start at $6 per visit, the number hides the insidious intent behind its introduction.  Most of the fee will simply be swallowed up in administrative costs once medical centres are required to process this new form of payment but the real cost savings will come from the poorest people in our society being dissuaded from visiting the doctor.

This is an incredibly short-sighted plan as while there may be small short term savings as a result of less people seeing the doctor for minor complaints these savings will quickly be lost as some of these minor complaints that weren’t seen to transform into serious illnesses – illnesses that in many cases could have been prevented by an early visit to the GP.

Greens health spokesperson Dr Richard Di Natale addressing rhe rally (photo by Peter Boyle)

Greens health spokesperson Dr Richard Di Natale addressing the rally (photo by Peter Boyle)

I was very grateful to be asked to MC the weekend rally, which was organised by a coalition of students and the Young Greens and where I shared the stage with Greens health spokesperson Senator Richard Di Natalie, himself a medical doctor before entering parliament.  Despite being held at a time when many people are still on their summer holidays the rally was very well attended, showing how unhappy the community are with Abbott’s “no surprises” government dropping this surprise announcement just before Christmas when they hoped they would escape media scrutiny.

The full text of the speech I gave at the rally can be found here.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s