Reject 'ruthless' budget policies: ANMF

19 May, 2014

The Senate should reject the federal budget's policies on Medicare, the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) has said, labelling policy measures "ruthless".

"The ANMF is greatly encouraged that Labor and the Greens have already declared their opposition and we're now calling on the Palmer United Party, the Independents and the minor parties to do the same," ANMF Acting Federal Secretary, Annie Butler, said in a recent statement.

"Clearly, these measures are aimed at putting pressure on the States and Territories' public health systems to the point of collapse – where they will be forced to cut their health budgets even deeper, axing frontline jobs, shutting hospital beds and ultimately selling off our public hospitals.

"Australians will end up with a more expensive American style system of privatised health care – where if you don't have the money you don't get the care.

"This direction from the government is an unethical one.

"Everyone will feel the pain, especially young people, the elderly, people living in regional and rural communities, the chronically ill, people with disabilities and disadvantaged Australians.

"Nurses and midwives are the ones who will have to pick up the pieces. We always do, we're always there, we always have to cope with the consequences.

"We are urging the Senate to reject these health changes in the Budget – to save Medicare both for Australia's nursing and midwifery professionals and most importantly for the health of all Australians."