Australian Health Issues
By Michelle Stevens, 9 January 2018
Decades of government funding cuts, combined with the rise of corporate profit-making operators, have led to severe under-staffing.
By John Mackay, 25 October 2017
Emergency room visits reached record levels at the peak of the winter season in many major hospitals.
By Jason Quill and Oscar Grenfell, 7 September 2017
The Health Services Union welcomed the Victorian Labor government’s application for the federal Fair Work Commission to ban the stoppage.
By Ed Ballesteros, 22 August 2017
The ostensible concern of governments for the well-being of health professionals is belied by funding cuts that have stretched public hospitals to breaking point.
By Margaret Rees, 11 August 2017
New research points to a rapidly growing number of fatalities, far outstripping heroin overdose deaths.
By Will Marshall, 17 July 2017
The SKM fire is a product of the systematic gutting of environmental health and safety regulations, as well as town planning and construction guidelines.
By John Mackay, 6 July 2017
People in working class areas die younger and have almost double the rates of poor health compared to residents of wealthier suburbs.
By Michelle Stevens, 28 March 2017
Many working class people are now being forced to consider dropping their coverage, intensifying the healthcare crisis.
By Gary Alvernia, 16 March 2017
Funding cuts initiated by the last federal Labor government have forced hospitals to double the number of private patient services since 2008.
By Margaret Rees, 8 March 2017
Conditions are deteriorating in hospitals as a result of the previous Labor government’s restructuring, which has deepened under the current Liberal-National government.
By our reporters, 15 February 2017
Union officials sought to divert the widespread anger into impotent appeals to the state Coalition government, while promoting the opposition Labor Party.
By Max Newman, 20 January 2017
Carers of people with a disability are being denied support programs under the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
By Max Newman, 14 January 2017
The National Disability Insurance Scheme will deny adequate assistance to many in need, even those with severe mental illnesses.
By Cheryl Crisp, 21 December 2016
The lectures establish the connection between social inequality, the living and working conditions of the poor, and the deterioration in their health outcomes.
By Kurt Brown, 7 December 2016
Melbourne, a city of more than three million people, ran out of ambulances as thousands of people suffered potentially fatal thunderstorm-related asthma.
By Oscar Grenfell, 25 November 2016
Thousands of miners could be afflicted by the deadly disease as a result of the erosion of safety standards by the major companies, with government and union complicity.
By our reporters, 8 November 2016
The trade unions that organised the protest promoted the fraud that Labor would defend the hospital and public health care.
By John Roberts, 28 October 2016
The protest was another attempt by the unions to divert mounting anger over the attacks on public health into appeals to the government and the promotion of illusions in Labor.
By John Mackay, 19 October 2016
Unions New South Wales is seeking to channel widespread opposition to the attacks on healthcare behind the Labor Party.
By Michelle Stevens, 15 October 2016
Almost half those suffering some chronic health conditions are skipping treatment because of “out of pocket” costs.
By John Mackay, 1 October 2016
The plan will set a model for the wholesale handover of health care to profit-making corporate operators.
By Richard Phillips, 10 August 2016
The New South Wales government has responded to an entirely preventable hospital accident by going into damage control.
By Mike Head—SEP candidate for the Senate in Queensland, 27 June 2016
For four decades, the reality has been one of a relentless assault on public health care by Labor and Coalition governments alike.
By Mary Beadnell, 26 April 2016
Steep increases in the numbers of people taking their own lives point to deteriorating economic and social conditions.
By Richard Phillips, 11 April 2016
Increased workloads, inadequate mine ventilation and low dust-testing standards have produced a sudden jump in the number of coal miners suffering from black lung.
By Declan O’Malley, 14 March 2016
The official inquiry is an attempt to cover up the refusal of successive state and federal governments to provide adequate mental health services.
By Zac Hambides, 23 February 2016
Not one of the speakers mentioned the cutting of health spending by the last Labor government, kept in office by the Greens.
By Mike Head, 8 February 2016
According to the AMA’s annual hospital report card, waiting times lengthened in 2014–15 and funding shortfalls will worsen in 2017 when the latest cutbacks come into effect.
By Peter Symonds, 9 February 2015
Prime Minister Tony Abbott fended off a leadership challenge today, but the political turmoil inside the ruling Liberal Party will continue.
By Mike Head, 10 December 2014
Abbott’s apparent about-face is another indication of the political crisis wracking the Liberal-National Coalition government.
By Joe Lopez, 2 September 2014
Nine Pilbara “Fly In Fly Out” workers have committed suicide in the past 12 months, despite an earlier federal parliamentary inquiry.
By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 30 August 2014
Protest organisers have channelled public opposition into the dead-end of parliamentary manoeuvre, promoting the illusion that Labor and the Greens would block the budget measures.
By Terry Cook, 27 August 2014
The move will effectively cut the human services department in half, paving the way for the axing of tens of thousands of jobs.
By James Cogan, 5 June 2014
The objective is the long-term reduction of public health spending by using “price signals” to deter people from accessing medical care.
By James Cogan, 5 June 2014
The Abbott government has sought to lessen the public outrage over its introduction of co-payments for public medical services by channelling much of the revenue into a Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) until it reaches $20 billion. By 2017–2018, the MRFF, which will invest its capital in the share and money markets, will use its dividends to make grants of up to $1 billion annually for medical research in Australia.
By Joe Lopez, 7 April 2014
Hundreds of public health jobs to be eliminated at hospitals in Perth, the state capital.
By Max Newman, 21 February 2014
The closure of Newcastle’s Stockton Centre exposes the purpose of the former Labor government’s National Disability Insurance Scheme.
By Oliver Campbell, 18 February 2014
The pseudo-left organisations that organised the rally are seeking to divert opposition to cuts to social spending behind the Labor Party, Greens, and trade unions.
By Oliver Campbell, 7 January 2014
The protest was called in response to proposals for upfront fees for visits to doctors.
By Terry Cook, 11 July 2013
Prime Minister Rudd cynically apologised to the families of four young men killed when working for contractors under the home insulation scheme.
By Mike Head, 23 April 2013
The Grattan Institute launched a broadside against the major parties for “raising expectations about what government can and should deliver.”
By Joe Lopez, 28 February 2013
Industrial action by nurses, drawing support from other workers, threatened to raise uncomfortable questions for the Liberal government, the Labor opposition and the union.
By Mark Church, 28 January 2013
The sell-off at the Prince of Wales Hospital in Sydney is a direct result of deep health care cuts by the state and federal governments.
By Will Morrow, 24 January 2013
While being presented as accounting corrections, these cutbacks are entirely in line with the federal Labor government’s so-called health care reform program.
By Mike Head, 18 December 2012
The data underscores the fraud of the government’s claims that its three-year-old “national health reform” program seeks to improve patient care.
By Alex Messenger, 6 June 2012
Under the guise of helping the disabled, the NDIS involves a massive rationalisation of existing services designed to drive many off pensions and into work.
By Alex Messenger, 28 April 2012
Far from the “increased funding” promoted by the media, the changes will reduce the government’s contribution to the funding of home care from 84 percent to 76 percent.
By Patrick O’Connor, 17 March 2012
The overriding priority of the union has been to prevent the nurses’ dispute from becoming a political struggle against the state and federal governments.
By Will Marshall, 9 March 2012
The Victorian state government has made no concessions whatsoever, but the union bureaucracy insists that closed-door negotiations will conclude an agreement by March 16.
By Richard Phillips, 1 March 2012
As nurses continued rolling stoppages, the ANF pledged to call off all action if the Victorian government agreed to “voluntary arbitration,” as proposed by federal workplace minister Bill Shorten.
By Richard Phillips, 25 February 2012
As soon as nurses began industrial action to defend wages, jobs and patient-nurse ratios, the Gillard government’s workplace tribunal declared their action illegal.
By Susan Allan, 19 January 2012
Mental health services are in profound crisis, following decades of chronic underfunding by successive governments at state and federal levels.
By our reporters, 4 January 2012
The World Socialist Web Site recently spoke with Victorian nurses and other public hospital workers about the government’s assault on their pay and working conditions.
By Will Marshall, 28 December 2011
The Victorian Liberal government, acting in concert with the federal Labor government, is carrying out a major attack on public sector jobs.
By Will Morrow, 19 December 2011
The resignation threat is a cynical bid by the union bureaucracy to wear down the nurses’ determined struggle in defence of jobs, conditions and wages.
By Will Morrow and Patrick O'Connor, 14 December 2011
A revealing incident outside a recent mass meeting of nurses in Melbourne served to highlight the class gulf that separates the Socialist Equality Party from Socialist Alternative and its fellow pseudo-left organisations in Australia.
By Mark Church, 13 December 2011
As federal and state governments implement austerity measures, emergency ambulance call centre operators are being pressed to find ways to limit ambulance use.
8 December 2011
A mental health nurse wrote to the World Socialist Web Site about the issues involved in the fight by public hospital nurses in the state of Victoria to defend wages and conditions.
By Will Morrow, 5 December 2011
Sunday’s event underscored the fact that the union bureaucracy is consciously working to demobilise and demoralise the nurses.
By Will Morrow, 3 December 2011
Having shut down industrial action by Victorian nurses, the union is promoting a campaign of isolated hospital rallies in order to demoralise nurses while it prepares a sell-out agreement.
By Patrick O’Connor, 30 November 2011
The WSWS replies to a letter that reflects the current thinking of many nurses who are determined to defend staffing and pay, but do not yet understand the union’s role in facilitating the Victorian government’s agenda.
By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 28 November 2011
The shutdown of the nurses’ struggle underscores the critical role of the unions in enforcing the regressive, pro-business measures being advanced by the federal Labor government in collaboration with its state counterparts.
By Will Morrow and Patrick O’Connor, 26 November 2011
The ANF decision is an abject capitulation to the federal Labor government’s industrial relations regime and the state government’s agenda of slashing wages and conditions.
By Will Morrow, 25 November 2011
The nurses are maintaining industrial action within Victoria’s public hospitals in defiance of a ban imposed by the federal Labor government’s Fair Work Australia industrial relations tribunal.
By Mark Church, 23 November 2011
The tragedy highlight the appalling conditions in the commercial aged care industry, which are primarily the responsibility of the federal Labor government, which controls the funding of the nursing home system.
By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 23 November 2011
Tens of thousands of public hospital nurses confront an assault on their jobs, wages, and conditions that is being coordinated between the state Liberal government of Ted Baillieu and the federal Labor government of Julia Gillard.
By Will Morrow, 22 November 2011
In defying the tribunal’s orders, the nurses confront the threat of having their wages docked, fines totalling thousands of dollars each and jail terms of up to 12 months.
By Will Morrow, 18 November 2011
What is facing nurses in Victoria is part of the austerity agenda being imposed in country after country on workers who are being compelled to bear the brunt of the deepening crisis of capitalism.
By Terry Cook, 18 October 2011
The inquiry was part of a damage control exercise to placate Newcastle residents and head off any genuine probing of the incident’s underlying causes.
By Mike Head, 18 August 2011
The centrepiece of the agreement is the imposition of “national efficient prices” for all public hospital services.
By Mike Head, 14 June 2011
The results underscore the central purpose of the Labor government’s blueprint—to drive down long-term healthcare costs and push more patients into the hands of private providers.
By John Mackay, 19 May 2011
Despite warnings by health professionals, no national surveillance system has been introduced for the potentially fatal Clostridium difficile bacteria.
By Will Morrow, 13 April 2011
The World Socialist Web Site spoke to a number of medical researchers and students about the Labor government’s proposed cuts to medical research.
By Will Morrow, 13 April 2011
Workers and students yesterday demonstrated against cuts to medical research funding, expected to be included in Labor’s austerity budget in May.
By Will Morrow, 11 April 2011
The WSWS spoke to a researcher in respiratory illness on the implications of the Gillard government’s planned reductions in health research spending.
By Will Morrow, 11 April 2011
In the lead-up to the May budget, the Labor government has signalled cuts to pathology, radiology, subsidised drugs and medical research grants.
By Mike Head, 15 February 2011
Far from a “better deal for patients,” Labor’s market-based scheme will only worsen health outcomes in the notoriously under-resourced, over-stretched and dilapidated public hospital system
By Zac Hambides, 14 January 2011
The nurses union agenda is to use a mandatory ratio as a selling point to lull nurses into accepting a behind-the-scenes deal being worked out with the NSW state government.
By James Cogan, 24 November 2010
While the NSW Nurses Association called the industrial action over a demand for mandatory nurse-to-patient ratios, the overwhelming support for the strike is a measure of the anger felt by nurses towards the increasingly dysfunctional character of the entire public hospital system.
By Tania Baptist, 23 November 2010
Hundreds of thousands of people across the state were unable to access essential medical treatment within clinically desirable timeframes last year. Despite cynical last-minute election promises, the public hospital system will inevitably deteriorate further.
By Zac Hambides, 1 November 2010
About 30 nurses from a Sydney hospital attended a lunchtime union rally last Wednesday over the staffing crisis affecting the hospital’s mental health unit.
By Joe Lopez, 20 October 2010
The tragic deaths of three children following unsuccessful attempts by their parents to access medical treatment in regional Western Australia have highlighted the crisis of the public health system in country areas.
By Chris Johnson and Mike Head, 12 October 2010
A report has provided conclusive evidence that systemic social inequality is producing wide gaps in the health, well-being and life expectancy of people of working age.
By Richard Phillips, 14 July 2010
The cost-cutting policies that helped create the Patel tragedy in Queensland are now being implemented nationally under the federal Labor government’s so-called “health revolution”.
By Peter Symonds, 25 June 2010
The Labor government is under fire from a growing number of professionals for failing to address the worsening crisis in the public mental health system.
By John Mackay, 23 June 2010
Diabetes patients are to be a test case for a new health blueprint designed to ration access to medical care.
By Margaret Rees and Mike Head, 26 April 2010
The Rudd government’s hospital plan centres on using the “casemix” funding model to slash costs and ration patients’ access to services.
By Patrick O’Connor, 22 April 2010
The Council of Australian Governments meeting concluded with the states agreeing to new tax and funding mechanisms that will play a central role in Canberra’s agenda of slashing long-term health care spending and further undermining the public health system.
By Patrick O’Connor, 13 April 2010
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd yesterday announced the final terms of the proposed federal takeover of the hospital and primary health care system, with up to $1.9 billion in additional funding for hospital emergency departments, elective surgery, and the aged care sector.
By Mike Head, 5 April 2010
Diabetes sufferers—one of the fastest growing and most vulnerable groups in society—will become a testing ground for scrapping the uncapped Medicare insurance system.
By Mike Head, 25 March 2010
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s promise to train extra doctors is in reality another component of his government’s overall blueprint for slashing long-term public health spending.
By Patrick O’Connor, 24 March 2010
Yesterday’s phony “debate” between Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott underscored an essential feature of official politics—there can be no genuine discussion of the economic or social agenda of the major parties.
By Mike Head, 6 March 2010
Despite being presented as an historic “reform,” the plan has nothing to do with resolving the worsening crisis in the chronically under-funded health system.
By Mike Head, 6 August 2009
The Australian government’s National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission report has made clearer the pro-market and pro-business agenda of Labor’s health care “reform”.
US provides least maternity support in industrialized world, Australia and New Zealand among worst providers
By David Walsh, 18 February 1998
A new study conducted by the International Labor Organization (ILO) reports that the United States, Australia and New Zealand are the only industrialized nations that do not provide paid maternity leave and health benefits by law.