What Medicare really means to me

Last Budget 2014, the federal Government launched an attack on Medicare in the form of a GP co-payment. After thousands of emails, many meetings and rallies, the co-pay plan was dropped (though their rebate freeze will still push GPs towards a co-pay.) On the brink of Budget 2015, we know they are determined to continue to erode the universality of Medicare, by sending ‘price signals’ and pushing us all towards private insurance for every occasion.

Midwife Annette Alldrick finds Medicare important in her everyday working life – but it also holds a special personal meaning for her.

Recently I was asked to speak at a Save Medicare forum and it got me thinking about what Medicare really means to me.


Annette (centre) with son Michael, husband John, son Hugh (holding our great nephew Edvin) and daughter Olivia.

As a nurse and midwife of nearly 40 years, Medicare means being able to give quality healthcare to all my patients regardless of their ability to pay. If I deliver a baby who unexpectedly needs admission to Special Care, I don’t have to worry about the economic circumstances of the parents. I just have to worry about caring for the baby. If I have a mum who is unwell, my only concern has to be looking after her health needs, no matter what her financial status.

But for my family and me, Medicare also has a very personal meaning. Continue reading

Posted in: Health funding, Nursing - Midwifery
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Million-strong call for Robin Hood Tax

A Robin Hood Tax (RHT) in Europe is moving closer. Tomorrow is Budget day in Australia. In order to bring the RHT to Australia, we ask you to pass a resolution calling on MPs to oppose the extension of the GST, close tax loopholes that benefit rich corporations and to support a financial transactions tax. Read on…

Today is a watershed moment in the European campaign for a financial transaction tax: organisations from across Europe and the United States have collected more than 1.1 million calls of support for a Robin Hood Tax. That’s over a million actions demanding that banks pay their fair share to help those hit hardest by the financial crisis.


The number of calls of support continues to grow by the day, showing the Robin Hood Tax is one of the most popular taxes in history.

RobinHoodtax US

Support for Robin Hood from nurses in the US.

Continue reading

Posted in: Advocacy, Health funding, International, Privatisation
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If we lose registered nurses from aged care…

The campaign (RN24/7) to keep the legal requirement for registered nurses round the clock in aged care in NSW continues. The state government’s ‘consultation process’ goes on and a decision will be announced in December – but that decision will probably be made by mid-year. So it’s important to speak up now.

Louise Stammers, a registered nurse who works in aged care, shares her thoughts about the consequences if we lose RNs from round the clock aged care.

I think our society has to decide what they expect from residential aged care facilities. Do they want places where people can put their old, frail and unwanted relatives so they don’t have to try and look after them? Do they care if those they put into such places only receive very basic nursing care and minimal medical attention? Does society mind if such places are little more than a dumping ground, for people waiting to die? (And only for those who can afford to dump. Others will have to do what they will with their aged relatives.) In which case, society can do nothing.

Or does society want quality care for the elderly?


Louise Stammers. Continue reading

Posted in: Advocacy, NSWNMA, Nursing - Aged Care
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Lisa Smith is the Performing Nurse

Lisa Smith is the Performing Nurse the philosopher fool straight out of hospital coming to Parramatta in the Anywhere Festival on May 14-15.

Lisa is a multi-talented comedy performer who really is a nurse and a midwife. In her one-woman show, she gives the inside scoop on the world of the female nurse. She fuses comedy, song, memoir and live projection to create a gallery of quirky, outrageous characters.

Nurse Uncut has double tickets to give away to each of Lisa’s performances (2pm Thursday 14 and Friday 15 May) in the Brislington Nurse Museum in Parramatta – which is under threat as the NSW Government wants to sell it off! Scroll to the end for details on how to enter and please sign a petition to save the nursing museum

performing nurse

Lisa Smith writes: I’m a clinical nurse and midwife. While working as a midwife, I completed a performing arts degree at QUT. This led to my professional career as a playwright, singer and performance maker. I worked as a professional singer with an ensemble for six years. Also got a fabulous scholarship to study theatre and education at NYU in 1997.

My life was changed forever. Continue reading

Posted in: Community campaigns, Events, Giveaways, Performance
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Casual nurse and proud of it!

Jess Morton is an undergraduate student paramedic – but that’s not what she’s writing about for Nurse Uncut. Jess works permanently in the Casual pool – and loves it. Here’s why.

I wasn’t like the others in my group when I finished my Trainee Enrolled Nurse year. Most of them had sought jobs on the wards they liked. A few had already applied and been accepted to start their RN degree the following year.

I’d become a nomad in the hospital after completing my eight week placements in stroke/neuro, acute geriatrics, paeds, oncology and general surgical.

Jess profile

Jess Morton – casual nurse and proud!

Continue reading

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Posted in: Employment issues, Nursing experiences
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