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Commonwealth Health Funding Negotiations Ceased Until After the Election17 August 2007
Funding ceased pending AWAs for all health workers ?
The States and Territories attacked the decision by Health Minister Tony Abbott not to negotiate a new health funding agreement at their ministerial meeting in Sydney in late July.*
The current agreement expired at the end of July, but Mr Abbott has indicated he will not discuss the matter before the federal election.
There is rising concern across health industry stakeholders that one of the major inhibitors for the renegotiation of the health funding agreement is the Commonwealth's aim to tie funding to putting workers on AWAs: As it did with Universities' funding.
The States, as administrators of Australia's public health systems, could not sign up to putting all public health workers on AWA's because it would decimate public health.
The shortage of federal funding to educate heath workers has left an already critical shortage across the country. Reducing the rights, protections and entitlements of health workers would only fuel an exodus of workers from the health sector.
To add insult to injury, in Howard's wanna-be Presidential style You-Tube appearance announcing funding for the Mercy Hospital, he did not state that he has ceased funding negotiations for all other Australian public hospitals.
Howard is treating Australians, particularly the sick and vulnerable, as pawns in his game to have himself re-elected. The health systema and health workers appear to be simply tools for his ambition.
There is a funding plot more sinister than pork barreling and it will affect all Australian health workers and communities. The community deserves to know Howard and Costello's intention for health funding and the future rights of health workers before the election.
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