All 17 staff at the Lower Murray Medicare Local have today paid the penalty for Tony Abbott’s election lies after being been officially informed they are being made redundant.
In the 2013 election Tony Abbott promised “no cuts to health” and specifically pledged to retain all 61 of Labor’s Medicare Locals.
“We are not shutting any Medicare locals.”
TONY ABBOTT – ROOTY HILL LEADERS DEBATE – 28 AUGUST 2013
Despite this pledge, Tony Abbott abolished all 61 Medicare Locals run and operated by community not for profit boards, replacing them with a smaller number of Primary Health Networks.
The staff at the Lower Murray Medicare Locals today paid the price for the deceit after they were made official redundant today after their organisation missed out on the tender to run the new Murray Primary Health Network.
The Murray PHN is tasked with providing services to a region stretching from the South Australian border, along the entire length of the Murray to the Victorian Alps, and down to Bendigo, Castlemaine and Marysville on the outskirts of Melbourne.
But in a further sign of how chaotic this process has been, tenders were only awarded last week, just weeks before the new PHNs are due to commence operations.
In statement issued today, Dr Stewart Booth, chair of the Lower Murray Medicare Local says services in the region won’t know until after the May budget which of them will continue to be funded.
“This level of ongoing uncertainty is unacceptable and puts an increased level of stress on our employees. Because of this funding uncertainty, the Board has been left with no choice but to offer redundancy packages to all staff”.
Statement by Dr Stewart Booth, Chair of Lower Murray Medicare Local
21 April 2015
Staff have complained that the news they were likely to lose their jobs came not from the Minister, but from a media “drop” which revealed their employer had missed out on the tender.
With less than a month to go until the Abbott Government’s second Budget, the handling of the PHN tenders confirms health policy in Australia is in crisis.
After spending its first year gutting $57 billion from hospitals and trying to come up with different ways to slug Australians with a GP Tax, it seems the minister has now decided to try to destroy the health system through policy paralysis.
Australians deserve better than a minister who puts every tough decision in her portfolio in the too hard basket, and simply kicks the can down the road for another 12 months.
Australians deserve better than a government which only ever sees health as a source for Budget cuts.
Only Labor believes in Medicare, and only Labor will protect Medicare and build the health system for the 21st Century that Australians deserve.