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Health crisis not resolved

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J A M E S P O R T E R , F e d e r a l Shadow M i n i s t e r f o r H e a l t h

3 r d A p r i l , 198 5.


The N.S.W. offer will not resolve the Australian health care crisis.

While the Government has backed down to some of the N.S.W. doctors1 demands, it has totally failed to address the fears held by doctors and the general public con- - Ā« cerning the nationalisation of our health system.

Regardless of the attitude of N.S.W. doctors to the package, action is already being taken by doctors in Western Australia and South Australia to withdraw their services and considerĀ­ ation is being given tonight to similar action in Victoria.

Medicare Mark II shifts some of the medicare problems onto the private health insurers.

Premiums for private health insurance will rise as a result.

The Prime Minister promised to make health insurance more affordable, but this offer will make it less affordable. It will force many to rely solely on Medicare. With greater public reliance On Medicare the erosion of the private sector will continue, and so will the queues for public hospitals.

Medicare has failed to live up to the Government's sweeping promises. A review of the fundamental problems caused by Medicare is needed rather than negotiations with Just one of the many grtiups involved in health care.

In their attempt to do a deal with the doctors, Prime Minister Hawke and Health Minister Blewett have ignored the Australian public.

The plight of the poor and the elderly is not improved by the Government's offer, and those who can afford to insure privately will now have to do so at higher cost.

The 35-day rule remains unchanged, the pressure on nurses causing them to resign is unchanged, the threat of further actions by doctors remains, and private health insurance is not more affordable.

The attempted quick-fix offer to the N.S.W. doctors is an abrogation of the Government's health care responsibilities.

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