Health services, not cuts!

Queensland’s health services are under attack, but members are fighting back.

How did we get here?
Over the last few years Queensland Health has seen high levels of investment from the government, to fix chronic failures of our health system and to attract and retain high quality doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, and support services.

But after the election in 2012 the government issued directives and then rushed legislation through Parliament that made it easier for Queensland Health employees to be sacked and their jobs contracted out. This was a huge breach of the Premier’s pre-election promise to honour all existing industrial agreements.

Services like BreastScreen Queensland have been decentralised, which will lessen the ability of staff to maintain a high-quality service. Population Health and other areas were targeted despite their invaluable contribution to ensuring Queenslanders stay healthy and don’t burden our hospital system. Now the new government’s Health and Hospital Boards are starting to cut into jobs and services in hospitals, aged care facilities and community health services.

Together representatives challenged the government’s legislation that removed job security provisions in the Supreme Court on constitutional grounds but was ultimately unsuccessful. While the decision is disappointing, it was not unexpected and the court case was only one part of our fight against the Newman government’s attacks on public servants.

We need to make sure we do everything we can to pursue every avenue possible and the fight against the Newman government will be won ultimately in the court of public opinion, not in the judicial system. We must take our case to the people of Queensland and ask for their support.

The decision removes any legal uncertainty in the lead up to the Senate inquiry into state public servants’ rights at work, which members won by getting 25,000 signatures to our petition. This enquiry will begin to receive testimony and evidence in the New Year.

However it is clear that legal challenges and parliamentary enquiries alone won’t protect Health services and jobs. Members need to take a stand now for Queensland Health services and Queensland Health jobs.

What are members doing to stand up for public health services?

Members in Metro North have been calling their local members of parliament, setting up street stall sin LNP electorates and asking: "Will this MP stick up for health services?

There is no doubt that these cuts will affect services and the health of Queenslanders. In metro north there will be less social workers, dieticians, speech pathologists and occupational therapists in our hospitals and working in the community, helping to keep people out of hospital.

All through metropolitan Brisbane, and in many regional areas, Home and Community Care services are no longer be delivered free of charge by the government resulting in over 140 jobs being axed and destroying the quality of life for the  most vulnerable Queenslanders and forcing them into institution care or hospitals.

At the PA and QEII hospitals there are less surgical places resulting in even longer waiting lists and poorer health outcomes on the southside of Brisbane.

We know being union can make a difference, we have seen this the governments back-down on pollie pay increases.

We need to keep the fight up to the government and the Hospital Boards to protect public health services. We can't wait until the next state election for change: Sign up at Working for Queenslanders to help continue the fight and win http://www.workingforqueenslanders.org.au/.