The previous Federal Labor Government had many achievements in health policy. The Committee wishes to recognise the work undertaken by the former Government, particularly Health Ministers Nicola Roxon and Tanya Plibersek. Labor can be proud of its record, including the National Health Reform Agreement, the Preventative Health Taskforce, cigarette plain packaging, the Living Longer – Living Better plan and the rollout of the eHealth system.
Unfortunately, the election of the Abbott Coalition Government has put these achievements at risk. We have already seen $50 billion ripped from the health system, which could see over 300 hospital beds closed in NSW alone.
The universality of Medicare is at stake with the introduction of an up-front fee for patients when they see a GP. This co- payment will remove the incentives to take preventative health actions. The Doctors Reform Society, AMA, ANMF, College of GPs and eminent health economists are all in opposition to the GP co-payment system.
This comes on top of the NSW Liberal Government’s $3 billion cut to the State’s health system. These cuts have had a direct impact on staff numbers and have resulted in a blowout in hospital emergency wait times.
The Committee congratulates NSW Labor Leader John Robertson and Shadow Minister for Health, Andrew McDonald for their work in highlighting the impact of these cuts.
Discussions were had about a number of items. The Committee discussed an item in relation to more medically-supervised injecting rooms. It is important to recognise the previous Labor Government decision to make the facility in Kings Cross permanent and its success in achieving its goals. A motion was also submitted by the Surry Hills branch calling for a financial supplement to HIV patients. The Committee believes that the very best support must be provided to HIV patients. The Federal Shadow Minister Jenny Macklin is currently leading a review into Federal Labor’s social policies, and this item should be referred to this process in the lead up to the next National Conference.
Party Unit and Union Motions (Click to download)