The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) has offered Federal Health Minister Peter Dutton a solution to mounting pressures on the nation’s health budget: a Financial Transactions Tax (FTT).
An FTT is a tiny tax of about 0.05% on banks and other financial institutions, levied on speculative investment transactions, high frequency traders and short term speculators, such as hedge funds.
ANMF Federal Secretary, Lee Thomas, said the introduction of an FTT could potentially raise billions of dollars, which could be invested into Australia’s universal healthcare system – without the need to “meddle with Medicare”.
“Minister Dutton is understandably concerned about the need for a sustainable healthcare system, but a co-payment for people to visit the GP isn’t the solution,” Ms Thomas said today.
“There will be no savings to the overall health budget if a co-payment forces people who can’t afford to visit the doctor to rush to already overstretched hospital emergency departments.
“It’s simply shifting the cost burden.
“The proceeds derived from an FTT could be used to strengthen Medicare, which has long been the envy of the world.
“The ANMF is urging Minister Dutton to use the upcoming G20 meeting of Finance Ministers and central bank governors to raise the issue of an FTT with Treasurer Joe Hockey and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann.”
The ANMF, with over 230,000 members, is the professional and industrial voice for nurses, midwives and assistants in nursing in Australia.
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