2022 presents Australians with an opportunity to make changes in the health sector with the federal election expected to be announced very soon.
Unfortunately, we have seen over this term of the federal government that there are a lot of problems within the national healthcare system. We’ve seen this playout in aged-care residential care. We’ve seen it playout in the rollout and delivery of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
We’ve certainly seen the failures of the federal government in protecting Australians over the past couple of years as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage on.
It is simply shocking that a government could have failed so miserably to protect Australians and those working in healthcare by failing to secure and plan for access to personal protective equipment, rapid antigen tests and vaccines.
We saw the Morrison government give handouts, under the JobKeeper scheme, to large companies who refused to pay it back when it was clear they didn’t need the handouts in the first place.
Yet the Coalition slashed the financial support given to Australians too early in the pandemic. They even started chasing people for so-called debts despite the report into the disastrous Robodebt scheme.
They have failed time and time again to respond to the pandemic with the urgency needed or the compassionate response we would expect during a global health emergency.
It has been extremely disappointing to see the Morrison government fail to look after the most vulnerable in our society and witness the terrible situation playing out in aged-care residential care, especially given how wealthy we are as a nation.
However, this year we have an opportunity to make our voices heard about the state of our healthcare system and the Morrison Government’s response to the global pandemic.
This year’s federal election gives us an opportunity to repudiate the views of a federal government that puts the elderly, those with disabilities and people working in healthcare clearly at the bottom of their list of priorities.
It says a lot when Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s biggest priority is passing legislation that allows for discrimination against the LGBTIQA+ community.
In related news, I’m very happy to report a win for all workers, with legislation finally passing that will remove the $450 threshold to receive Superannuation contributions.
This is a significant win for Australian unions who have campaigned to have this threshold removed.
The Union is also working with the Climate and Health Alliance (CAHA) to encourage health services to use fewer single-use plastic items. We all know the impact that single-use plastic has on our environment and the ramifications for our own health and well-being.
Unfortunately, it’s everywhere and about a third of a hospital’s general waste is plastic, with less than 10% of plastic being recycled. That’s why we’re working with CAHA to prove there is demand for action.
You can help by signing up to find out ways to encourage your health service to do more to reduce single-use plastic and the use of plastic in our hospitals – https://www.caha.org.au/reducing_sup_in_health