VAHPA Members… it is time to take action! Join us on Saturday 20 Feb in protesting sustained attacks on the Medicare system.

When: Saturday 20 February at 12 pm

Where: Outside the State Library on Swanston St

What: Rally… wear your VAHPA T-shirt and look out for our flags and banners

Medicare has long provided Australians with free or appropriately subsidised access to healthcare services. The underlying premise is that all Australians have a right to healthcare regardless of income, ethnicity, religion, sexuality and so on.

Over the years however there has been a shift in economic thinking away from a social Keynesian model and towards extreme neo-liberalism. This shift has seen business flourish. Indeed, one of the central tenets of neo-liberalism is that social and economic policy must favour business, entrepreneurship and the individual. Unfortunately, such policies have seen society become increasingly unfair and the gap between the haves and the have-nots expand rapidly.

The constant surge towards individual empowerment and away from notions of community and collectivism has had a radical impact on our way of life. As we increasingly accept a user-pays philosophy, those who live at or below the poverty line find it increasingly difficult to access the healthcare they need.

The last couple of years have shown us just how committed Abbott and Turnbull are to this myopic economic trend with the pair ripping billions of dollars out of health. In fact, in recent weeks we have seen the government propose another cut of $650 million, predominantly in imaging and pathology.

The proposed cuts to Medicare funded diagnostic tests such as x-rays, MRIs and blood and urine tests will put the health of millions of Australians at risk and will make the management of disease more difficult for doctors and health professionals. Simply put, it is short sighted and unfair.

While the Health Minister Sussan Ley has argued that business will cheerfully absorb the income shortfall to promote their competitive advantage, many in the business world have disputed this claim. In fact, Primary Health Care, Capital Health, Integral Diagnostics and many others have openly said that they would seek to recoup the cuts by charging patients.

This is yet another attempt to introduce a health co-payment by stealth. We must stand firm in the face of these attacks and prevent our government from further damaging our fair, accessible and affordable healthcare system.

VAHPA strongly opposes any cuts to Medicare and encourages members to come along to the rally on Saturday 20 February and send a loud message to the government that Allied Health Professionals will not stand for these regressive and unfair cuts.

Come along and join VAHPA Officials and Staff in what will be a fun but important rally.

Click below for posters and flyers.