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Health

The Communist Party of Australia supports a national health system with high quality and “free” at point of delivery care, according to need rather than ability to pay.

The CPA stands for a health care system that first and foremost meets the needs of working class Australians and other marginalised and disadvantaged groups, especially Indigenous Australians, in their local communities, local health clinics and local hospitals. We strongly oppose the introduction of a copayment or means testing of access to Medicare or free public hospital treatment.

Our health policy is for a nationalised health system with local control with the following features:

  • Accessible quality medical and dental treatment for all Australians, bulkbilled under Medicare, centrally funded through progressive forms of taxation and focused on the needs of working Australians and their families, the elderly and the sick.
  • A nationalised health scheme providing a quality primary care system with GPs, nurses, allied and community health working together, must become our frontline for maintaining people’s well-being with emphasis on preventing disease, including early detection of illness.
  • Team based care focused on early intervention and providing care in the community and in the home.
  • Priority on preventative medical services including campaigns by governments to educate people about healthy lifestyles, the importance of vaccinations, regular tests and check-ups. Preventive medicine should also encompass restrictions on corporate advertising and on the production and sale of unhealthy products.
  • End to the privatisation of Australia's health system and, in the meantime, an immediate end to the wasteful private health insurance rebate which is driving further privatisation of Australia's health system and which will lead to rationing of health care for those who need it and means-testing of public hospitals.
  • The CPA supports an expanded Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) so that all effective medications remain affordable for all Australians. PBS scripts should be free for all unemployed, pensioners and other card holders and the cost for others reduced. This must include the Pacific region which benefits from the lower costs of medications as a result of the high purchasing power of the PBS. The CPA supports public control of pharmaceuticals, diagnostics and medical supplies along with the employment of salaried staff specialists public hospitals. We further support the development of our own publicly owned pharmaceutical manufacturing industry so that Australia has some independence from shortages in overseas supply and during critical moments such as major pandemics. Australia should withdraw from agreements which prohibit such production and not sign new ones, in particular the Trans Pacific Partnership.
  • We cannot wait for a nationalised health system to improve primary health care. Our public hospitals are under extreme pressure right now. As a minimum the Federal Government must immediately increase its share of public hospital budgets to the 50% which existed prior to the Howard Government.
  • Improvement of the public system in outer suburban, rural and remote areas with measures put in place to ensure the health system caters first and foremost for working families and the sick and the elderly in these communities.
  • We support a system of generous workers’ compensation benefits for all injured workers and their families and strong health and safety rules in the workplace to prevent worker injury in the first place.
  • Retirement age for those on shift work to be set at five years before the rest of the workforce due to increased aging effects of their work patterns on the body.
  • A system of expanded and well-funded aged care, including adequate numbers of properly trained nurses in aged care. Support services must be in place to assist those elderly who choose to remain at home or those with chronic illness or terminal cancer who want to die at home.
  • Workers and local communities should have a say on where their health facilities are placed and how they are managed - including having a voice on local hospital boards.
  • Mental health services require urgent expansion.
  • Funding increases for people with disability should be brought forward and services provided by the public sector.

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