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Volunteers suffer under health privatisation



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ROGER

II. WA1 tilL I I1

PRK - MP f: pr.:2 FEDERAL MEMBER. FOR CHiFL" PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY TO TIIE MINISTER FOR DEFENCE8 January 1993VOLUNTEERS SUFFER UNDERHEALTH PRWATT ATIONOpposition plans to privatise health, and community serviceswould put more pressure on volunteers, Federal MP for Chifley,Roger Price, said today. iWith a federal election just around the corner, Mr Price has urgedlocal people to think carefully about what services 'they use, andhow those services would be affected under a Coalition Government."Dr Howson's plan to push more and more services out of thepublic 'and. into the private .sector may help him introduce his GST, but jet ,won't help people in the Chifley community who needservices," said Mr Price."Here in Chifley, volunteers helping in a range of health andcommunity services do an. invaluable job, but while volunteers area great help to the community, they .cannot, 'and should not beexpected to, do all the work of assisting the elderly, helping people with disabilities, and working.with people who are sick orin crisis."I . a m concerned that Dr Hewson's promise to slash government.services - Which would be disastrous for the people of Chifley -would push more and more work onto hard-pressed vol .n.teersand volunteer agencies," said Mr Price.COMMONWEALTH .12 PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARYMICAHPHONB:625--434 -- FAX: 832-2641

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"Dr Hewson will abolish a range of taxes so that he can bring in a GST, but there is at -least a $6 billion funding gap. To make up the difference, Dr Hewson plans to cut it out of vital public services, including health and community services.

'Any claims by Dr Hewson that the private sector would take up the slack are ludicrous. Health and community 'services aren't exactly blue chip investments, and neither should they be. They are services where caring and compassion are first order of the

day, not a booming balance sheet," said Mr Price.

„kjealth and community .services are the responsibility of Government - in tandem with. the community - not the private sector. Just last month the Federal Government. launched a $2.4 million program to better. manage the effort of Australia's four million .volunteers, but. it would be grossly unfair and uncaring to

expect them to do it all themselves,'' said Mr Price.

"Under Dr Hewson, unpaid. volunteer work would take over from paid labour. It wouldn't be fair, and the - system simply would not cope."

Media Contact: Brian Mitchell ,625-344