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Catholic Health says reform should help working poor

Catholic Health Australia has called on all parliamentary parties to amend the Medicare package and changes to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) in the interests of people most disadvantaged in the community.

Speaking on Friday at the end of Anti Poverty Week and in the lead up to Carers Week, CHA CEO Francis Sullivan said: "Poor people and others just struggling to make ends meet need the certainty and security of a properly funded Medicare and PBS system."

He warned that placing extra charges on medicines and opening up the possibility of higher fees to visit a GP will only further divide the opportunities to better health care for the less well off and the rest.

"Research revealed that last year 20% of the lowest paid people receiving no government benefits postponed filling a script," he said. "We need a health care system which reflects the regard we have for each other, not the capacity to pay your own way."

"All political parties should heed the message of Anti Poverty Week and prioritise the community's efforts and resources to reduce poverty, improve opportunity and access to essential health care."

Change Medicare and Drugs Package To Help Working Poor

Catholic Health Australia
A Fairer Medicare
Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme
Social Justice Council adds voice to Poverty Forum call (17/10/03)
Australian Catholic Social Justice Council
Catholic Welfare Australia
Vinnies says poverty a bipartisan national issue (16/10/03)
National Anti-Poverty Week
Call for a National Poverty Strategy (ABC Radio Religion Report)
Labor Commitment To Fight Poverty
Labor would convene summit to fight poverty
New Poverty Study Confirms Call by the Nationals' Leader to Spend Surplus (Jesuit Social Services)
Poverty equals pain: Churches say national strategy needed (National Council of Churches of Australia 10/9/03)
Welfare reform should target poverty, not the poor (Caritas Aotearoa/NZ)
National Anti-Poverty Week Forum, NSW Parliament House, Monday 13/10/03 | Presentation by Jesuit Social Services Policy Director Fr Peter Norden (Powerpoint Download)

20 Oct 2003