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John Passant

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January 2015



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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole

Sick kids and paying upfront


Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. (0)

I am not surprised
I think we are being unfair to this Abbott ‘no surprises’ Government. I am not surprised. (0)

Send Barnaby to Indonesia
It is a pity that Barnaby Joyce, a man of tact, diplomacy, nuance and subtlety, isn’t going to Indonesia to fix things up. I know I am disappointed that Barnaby is missing out on this great opportunity, and I am sure the Indonesians feel the same way. [Sarcasm alert.] (0)



One massive back down, but the fight to defend Medicare must continue

The Abbott government has capitulated on one of its key proposals to destroy Medicare – its attempt to make poor patients pay $20 for short (ie less than ten minute) consultations.

Another parts of the first stage of this destruction were to cut the Medicare rebate for standard consultations (ie more than ten minutes) from $37.05 to $32.05 and help destroy bulk billing is still on the cards. According to the Australian Financial Year its starts from 1 July this year, unlike the $20 cut which was due to start on 19 January. This too will fail if the Senate disallows the regulation implementing it.

Given the government dumped the $20 cut after a groundswell of opposition from ordinary Australians and doctors, to which the cross benchers responded by vowing to block the move, we need to keep the pressure on those backbenchers to also block the $5 cut to standard consultation rebates.

The third tranche in this first stage of this government’s attack on Medicare was to freeze the rebate amount for the next three years. This they have done administratively so opposition in the Senate can’t change that.

To stop the $5 cut to standard consultation rebates and the freezing of those rebates we need to be out in the streets. The doctors called forums in most capital cities for 8 February against the now abandoned $20 cut as well as the $5 cut and the freeze and the Australian Council of Trade Unions supported them. Unfortunately since the government backdown on the $20 cut the ACTU has announced that the 8 February demonstrations are on hold. I suspect the ACTU fear mobilising union members more than they fear the Abbott government.

This is a backward step. So too are forums if they are a substitute for demonstrations rather than an adjunct.  The attacks are ongoing. The $5 cut to rebates and the 3 year freeze of rebate levels are still going ahead.

Let’s have demonstrations rather than forums across Australia to stop the $5 cut to standard Medicare rebates and the freezing of indexation of those rebates so that ordinary people can express their anger with this rotten government and its attacks on Medicare.

This is a weak government. They have already suffered one major defeat in their long term attempts to smash Medicare. Let’s make sure they suffer more defeats.  Let’s organise massive demonstrations on 8 February to defend Medicare.



Comment from Les Roddan
Time January 16, 2015 at 8:32 am

Abbott and his mob are a disgrace, doctors get tp know what is best for their patients, and if it only takes 5 minutes to check that a patient is responding to the treatment, then that is all that is needed, we should not be penalized for that.
It’s up to us to demonstrate on 8 Feb.
I hate to think what this mob will do if they ever get control of the senate like Howard did.

Comment from Sandra
Time January 16, 2015 at 9:33 pm

It is more than Abbot – Doctors need to make a living as well and do. You – I bleed for 4 weeks forever and am anaemic. Not blood from my penis otherwise I would not be writing this. I have a tumour 7.7cm growing inside me, probably benign but we will not know until after the Australian Day fireworks (local doctors need time to see fireworks). I work fulltime. I pay my taxes and have since 14.9 years of age. I believe in access to medical care for everyone – simple. I pay the highest private healthcare and gap cover (Canberra specialists apparently choose ‘not to bill this way” – its their option and private funds “are so slow!”) – AHM have been good. I pay Medicare too. I believe in good medical care for all. I have to pay over $4000 to get this thing out of me as a private patient and am confused and in pain and on drugs to help “wait” – private or otherwise (which even with top insurance is a holiday for my family in Fiji). I need to wait 4 weeks or more, bleeding every day (that is apparently OK), as a private patient or 5 plus weeks if lucky with the public system. WOW. It’s just me. I will end up in emergency. It’s just you. Just your family. It’s really not good?

Comment from Alf
Time January 17, 2015 at 7:23 pm

I like your idea of a public demonstration.
But would need your advice on how this can be organised at such short notice (3 weeks).
I am serious about this and would meet your expenses if necessary.

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