Members of the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) will today join other trade unions and members of the Save Medicare Campaign Sydney to send a message to Canberra publicly opposing any changes to Australia’s universal health care system.
General Secretary of the NSWNMA, Brett Holmes, has agreed to speak during a peaceful lunchtime protest at Martin Place.
“Medicare, as we know it, is under attack from the Abbott Government,” Mr Holmes said.
“The federal Treasurer and Finance Minister have all but confirmed they will begin unraveling Medicare when they hand down their first Budget this evening.
“The nurses and midwives of NSW are committed to the notion of health care as a public good, with shared benefits and shared responsibilities. We believe that access to adequate health care is the right of every Australian and a crucial element of the Australian social compact.
“We believe in access to essential care regardless of how much money you have in your wallet and we believe that a great, wealthy country like Australia can afford Medicare.
“The introduction of a co-payment to see your GP or present at an Emergency Department for medical assistance – regardless of how high the fee – is an abhorrent attack on our world-class universal health system.
“Just eight months in office, the Abbott Government is prepared to turn its back on Australians and their families by unpicking a 30 year old accessible health system and reducing it to a safety-net for those with low incomes.
Mr Holmes will address the peaceful protest along with Unions NSW Secretary Mark Lennon and Erima Dall from the Sydney Save Medicare Committee.
NB: The theatrical protest will take place from 1:00pm TODAY at Martin Place near Philip Street, Sydney (near Martin Place train station entrance). Media are welcome to attend.
Download this media release: Hands off Medicare, Mr Abbott