Campaign to stop backdoor privatisation of Medicare

The main public sector union is spearheading a community-wide campaign to stop the privatisation of Medicare by the back door.

New TV ads launch today highlighting how the sell-off of the $29 billion Medicare payments system will put thousands of jobs at risk and undermine the privacy of millions of people.

Community and Public Sector Union National Secretary Nadine Flood accused the Abbott Government of ‘privatisation by stealth’ and warned the outsourcing of public services is a major threat to Australian jobs, services and data privacy.

“Selling off the payments system for Medicare, Veterans and Pharmaceutical Benefits is the first step in this Government’s agenda to privatise key public services. It is the thin end of the wedge and signals the beginning of the end of Medicare as we know it.”

“By sneakily putting the Medicare payments system on the block the Abbott Government has avoided any real public scrutiny,” Ms Flood said.

“There is widespread community support for Medicare and very tangible unease and anger about the Abbott Government’s relentless attacks on it.”

The CPSU highlighted the risks of the sell-off back in early August when the request for tender for Medicare payments was quietly released. This latest phase escalates the CPSU campaign which will also include lobbying of MPs, workplace activities, local and community actions.

“The Government is trying to tell us that outsourcing the payments system is just part of a computer systems upgrade. But upgrading an IT system is hardly a reason for selling the whole thing off. Just because you need a new set of tyres doesn’t mean that you have to sell off your car,” Ms Flood added.

The CPSU-led campaign kicks off in Canberra and moves to other regional areas of the country to highlight the potential impact the sell-off will have on the thousands of people who rely on Government jobs.

The advertising is created by Gruen Star regular Dee Madigan.

Contact CPSU Media Officer Julian Lee 0409 493 290

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