Australian Health Issues

Fair Work Australia imposes no-strike bans on Victorian nurses

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.

Australian mental health workers maintain bans over wages and conditions

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.

Australia: Victorian hospital workers speak on government cuts

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.

Australian state government announces 3,600 public sector job cuts

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.

Australian nurses’ union announces “mass resignation” stunt

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.

The Australian pseudo-lefts and the betrayal of Victorian nurses

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.

Australia: Ambulance services under pressure to cut costs

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.

Australia: Letter on the Victorian nurses’ struggle

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.

Australian nurses’ union holds first “community rally”

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.

Australia: Nurses’ union announces sham “community campaign”

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.

An exchange on the union’s role in the Australian nurses’ dispute

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.

The Australian trade unions and the betrayal of the Victorian nurses’ struggle

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.

Australia: Union shuts down nurses’ industrial action

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.

Australian nurses rally in defence of 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.

Australia: Elderly patients die in Sydney nursing home fire

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.

Australia: The political issues facing Victorian nurses

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.

Australia: Nurses continue industrial action in defiance of industrial laws

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.

Australian nurses’ industrial action banned by Labor’s laws

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.

State government inquiry whitewashes Australian chemical leak

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.

Australian “health reform” plan to slash spending

By Mike Head, 18 August 2011

The centrepiece of the agreement is the imposition of “national efficient prices” for all public hospital services.

Australian hospital waiting times worsen under “health reform”

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.

New “super bug” threatens Australian hospitals

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.

Medical workers and students speak against pending spending cuts

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.

Thousands rally against Australian Labor government’s spending 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.

Medical researcher: “Our chance of solving health problems will be significantly smaller”

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.

Australian government plans substantial cuts to health care

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.

Australia: Gillard health plan to slash spending

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

Australia: New South Wales nurses union shuts down action over staffing

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.

Nurses strike across Australia’s largest state

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.

Australia: Labor’s “world class health system” leaves thousands of Victorians waiting for treatment

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.

Australia: Nurses stop work over staffing at Blacktown hospital

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.

Western Australia: Children’s deaths expose health crisis

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.

Report documents health impact of social inequality in Australia

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.

Australia: Incompetent surgeon jailed for manslaughter

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”.

Australia: Top mental health adviser resigns

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.

Australian government targets diabetes sufferers to cut health costs

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.

“Casemix”: The model for cutting Australian hospital spending

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.

Australia: State Labor governments sign on to Rudd’s regressive health agenda

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.

Australian government releases final terms of health takeover

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.

Australian government to ration diabetes care

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.

Australian government announces plan to train more doctors

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.

Australia: Labor and Liberal leaders stage phony healthcare debate

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.

Australia: Rudd government unveils plan to cut health spending

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.

Australia: Labor’s “reform” to further privatise health care

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”.

International Labour Organization study

US provides least maternity support in industrialized world, Australia and New Zealand among worst providers

By David Walsh, 19 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.