HSU National wishes to reaffirm its support for a health system that is universal, equitable, affordable and fair for all Australians. While we acknowledge that Australia’s health system is far from perfect, the policy reforms proposed by the Abbott Government are evidence-free and ideologically driven. If implemented, they will create a far more inequitable and inefficient health system.

We are extremely concerned by how the Abbott Government’s discussion of health policy and expenditure is becoming increasingly divorced from the economic benefits of effective and equitable health systems. Indeed, in high-income countries like Australia good health outcomes contribute to higher productivity; greater labour supply; improved skills through greater education and training; and, most importantly, good overall population health leads to increased funding available for investment in physical and intellectual capital. While it may sound clichéd, our health is too important to risk; and we welcome the fact that the Senate is giving this complex policy area the attention and consideration it deserves.