Australia’s nurses and midwives will be “the ones who have to cope with the increased load of patients who have delayed seeking care because they simply could not afford it”, as a result of the Abbott Government’s devastating Budget.
That’s the message from Lee Thomas, the Federal Secretary of Australia’s largest health union, the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF), who will address the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association’s (NSWNMA) 69th annual conference in Sydney today.
In her keynote speech to delegates, Ms Thomas says: “Before the last election Mr Abbott made a pledge. No cuts to education. No cuts to health. Well Mr Abbott all I can say to you is that you lied, you lied to me, you lied to the whole electorate and I have the proof.
“On 13 May this year, the Federal Government announced its plans to slash health funding for the states and introduce a range of extra fees and charges for basic health services. The proposed $7 co-payment to see the doctor and the co-payment for diagnostic and pathology services and extra charges for pharmaceuticals. The effects will be devastating to those who can least afford them and does signal the beginning of the end of Medicare our universal health system.
“In addition the Government is slashing $55 billion in state health funding over the next 3-4 years, which will compromise the states’ capacity to run their public health systems and provide quality care to their communities into the future.
“And you, nurses and midwives, who are effectively responsible for the day to day operation of the health care system, will be the ones who have to cope with the increased load of patients who have delayed seeking care simply because they could not afford it.”
Download this media release: BUDGET CUTS IMPACT NURSES AND MIDWIVES_1 AUGUST 2014.