The country’s largest health union, the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF), is demanding to know why it is being shut out of the Abbott Government’s so-called “consultation” with health groups over its proposed GP tax.
Federal Secretary, Lee Thomas, said the ANMF is concerned Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley is reportedly examining multi-tiered co-payments for doctor visits – which will ultimately undermine Australia’s system of universal healthcare.
“Nurses and midwives totally reject any mandatory co-payments for GP visits,” Ms Thomas said today.
“The Government has already failed in its attempts to introduce its $7 co-payment for GP visits and now the Minister is suggesting that people should ‘pay a little more’ to see the doctor if they can afford to.
“But people already pay for their healthcare, Medicare is a taxpayer funded healthcare system
“Any form of co-payment, whatever the amount, is still a tax on basic, everyday health services that Australians should not pay.
“If the Minister is really genuine about consulting with all health professionals and the community then she should be meeting with nurses and midwives. Doctors alone do not represent the total of Australia’s health community.
“The ANMF represents over 240,000 nurses, midwives and assistants in nursing and we will continue our strong leadership in protecting universal healthcare for all Australians.
“The Minister should realise that our fight against any co-payment continues to go on. We won’t go away.”