Australian Health Issues
By John Wilson, 17 August 2019
The Health Services Union limited the action and channelled workers’ anger into a demand for more security officers, not for increased funding and staffing.
Indian doctors hold national 24-hour walkout; Chinese auto workers strike; Australian railway workers vote for industrial action
3 August 2019
The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.
By Paul Bartizan and Richard Phillips, 2 August 2019
Multiple faults in new apartment buildings have become a factor in the bursting of a debt-fuelled property bubble that is threatening thousands of jobs.
By John Mackay, 31 July 2019
The severity of deadly flu outbreaks could be minimised with global free access to vaccination, and the development of a universal vaccine.
By Max Newman, 26 July 2019
Former residents of a disability centre in Newcastle have died after being transferred to under-funded group homes via the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
By Frank Gaglioti, 23 July 2019
Michael Ogalirolo claims his potentially lethal cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, is due to 18 years of exposure to glyphosate, the active component of the herbicide Roundup.
By Clare Bruderlin, 18 July 2019
Testimony by care workers, patients and family members has underscored how the cost-cutting drive for profit jeopardises the health, safety and quality of life of elderly people.
By Max Boddy, 3 June 2019
So torturous are the conditions confronting the more than 500 asylum seekers still on Manus—some for nearly seven years—that many have inflicted bodily injury to themselves.
By Gary Alvernia, 13 May 2019
Even if implemented in full, the plan would not significantly reduce the exorbitant costs of cancer therapy and care.
By Max Boddy: SEP candidate for Hunter, 10 May 2019
The National Disability Insurance Scheme was always designed to privatise the disability sector, push people off welfare payments and slash public spending.
By Margaret Rees, 20 April 2019
Labor has dismissed evidence of a potential correlation between poor water quality and elevated levels of kidney disease and type-2 diabetes.
By Clare Bruderlin, 18 March 2019
Government cost-cutting has led to chronic under-staffing and poor care, particularly in facilities run for profit.
By John Wilson and John Harris, 2 March 2019
Protests continue against the hospital’s closure in the lead up to the March 23 New South Wales state election.
By Margaret Rees, 25 February 2019
The Andrews government is preparing to accelerate the privatisation of the health system.
By Cheryl Crisp and John Mackay, 12 February 2019
“The thing is, if NSWA treated their staff the way their staff treat the public, there would be no issue.”—Steve McDowell
By Clare Bruderlin, 21 December 2018
The state Liberal government marketed the $840 million hospital as having state-of-the-art facilities.
By Eric Ludlow, 7 September 2018
Authorities tried to reassure concerned residents, but hundreds of dead fish, eels and birds have been found in nearby waterways.
Family speaks to World Socialist Web Site
By Cheryl Crisp and John Mackay, 6 September 2018
On April 9, the 28-year veteran paramedic took his own life within two hours of being called into a meeting with New South Wales Ambulance senior managers.
By John Harris, 28 August 2018
As elsewhere globally, the wealth of Australia’s richest has swollen over the past two decades, alongside mounting financial stress for millions of people.
By Margaret Rees, 20 August 2018
Triple 0 callers were told an ambulance was on the way when it had not been dispatched.
By E. Ballesteros, 9 August 2018
Footscray Hospital is one of three acute and sub-acute hospitals managed servicing a major working-class region of the Victorian state capital.
By Cheryl Crisp, 2 August 2018
The “opt out” health database faces mounting public concern over official and corporate surveillance.
By Tom Peters, 7 July 2018
Nurses denounced the union-backed proposed agreement, which keeps wages low and maintains severe under-staffing of hospitals.
By Patrick Davies, 6 July 2018
The official response to a PFAS-related cancer cluster in the US city of Oakdale mirrors the indifference of Australian authorities to a similar health crisis.
By Max Newman, 19 June 2018
Successive Australian governments have pioneered many of the brutal measures now being taken in Europe and the US.
By Max Newman, 7 June 2018
The move to reduce autism services underscores the cost-cutting character of the NDIS.
By Margaret Rees, 5 June 2018
The company is shutting down two hospitals in order to help secure a more favourable takeover bid.
By Patrick Davies, 29 May 2018
Official cover-ups are scrapping any notion of potential buybacks or compensation.
By John Mackay, 26 April 2018
Deepening cuts to public health funding mean patients confront higher out of pocket charges from doctors, clinics and hospitals.
By Michelle Stevens, 20 March 2018
The allegations against the pharmaceutical giant, Johnson & Johnson, if proven correct, will reveal a profit-driven disregard for the health and wellbeing of the women.
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.