Councils join ‘Save Medicare’ campaign

Medicare imageOn Tuesday 26 August Marrickville Council joined a growing list of Sydney Councils in supporting the campaign against the Federal Government’s proposed Medicare GP co-payment.

Greens Councillor Sylvie Ellsmore moved a motion of support for the ‘Save Medicare’ campaign which was adopted by a majority vote on Marrickville Council. The motion was opposed by Liberal Councillors and supported by the ALP. The Marrickville vote follows the passing of a similar motion at the City of Sydney on Monday night, moved by Greens Councillor Irene Doutney. Last week Canada Bay also passed a motion opposing the GP co-payment.

Clr Ellsmore said, “For over 30 years Medicare has provided universal health coverage through bulk billing services from general practitioners and free public hospital treatment. There are many bulk billing doctors in the Marrickville Local Government Area and residents rely on those services.

“The Medicare co-payment is designed to increase profits for private health insurance companies and will impact on the most vulnerable in our communities. As a local Council we have a responsibility to protect our residents against this significant threat,” she said.

City of Sydney Councillor Irene Doutney said, “Access to primary health care for all Australians is a vital pathway to wellbeing, early intervention and preventative healthcare.

“The proposed introduction of a Medicare co-payment by the Federal Government represents a significant shift away from universal health care, and represents a disincentive, and, in some cases barrier, to regular preventative health checks and closer management of chronic disease.”

“The Greens are concerned that the real agenda of the Federal Government is to increase the co-payment in the future. It is a fundamental attack on our health care system. We do not want a US style health care system,” Clr Doutney said.

Save Medicare Sydney is a community campaign group committed to defending universal public healthcare. The campaign brings together local residents and has the support of the Nurses and Midwives Association, Doctors Reform Society, The Public Services Association and the Health Services Union. It has organised seminars, protests and campaign materials and has been involved in the protests against of the Abbott government’s budget. Follow the campaign at: https://www.facebook.com/savemedicaresydney

The Greens have a range of campaign resources to support Medicare. Visit http://greensmps.org.au/campaigns/save-medicare for more information and resources.

The Greens have also been campaigning to expand Medicare to include dental health – for more information see http://greens.org.au/denticare

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