Medicare matters


The Greens have long championed the Medicare system – and this week we learnt firsthand the power of robust public healthcare when our very own Richard Di Natale underwent knee surgery.

By Joana Partyka

After a couple of years of putting it off – and delaying further during the federal election campaign earlier this year – Greens leader Richard Di Natale last week underwent a knee replacement to repair a longstanding football injury.

Initially a little tired and bruised, he’s now on the mend thanks to the team at St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne. Richard will now be taking a few weeks off to focus on his recovery.

It should not surprise you that Richard chooses to go without private health insurance, and thus had his operation in a public hospital.

I’m proud to have contributed to Medicare through my taxes, and to live my values by putting my knee in the hands of the public hospital system at St Vincent’s,” Richard said.

“We all contribute to Medicare and every Australian should be proud that our incredible public hospitals provide world-class care – we should do everything we can to defend and protect them.

“It’s a testament to the hard work, professionalism and ingenuity of everyone in the public healthcare system that they provide such a high standard of medical care.”

The Greens have long championed every Australian’s right to timely, quality healthcare via a well-resourced public system. It’s a critical institution that recent governments have systematically chipped away at in favour of propping up the private health insurance industry – which is unfair, ineffective and inefficient.

Like more and more Australians, I know that private health insurance is an inflationary waste of public money – with more than $6 billion in taxpayer dollars being taken out of the public health system and turned into profits for these big health insurance companies, Richard said.

That money would be far, far better spent in the public system, delivering better services that everyone can benefit from no matter where they live or what they do.

In Richards absence over the coming few weeks, Adam Bandt has stepped up to take over duties as interim leader.

He’s already been doing a great job serving as parliamentary leader of the real opposition, taking on Scott Morrison’s cruel agenda and highlighting the Liberal’s failures to act on the climate crisis and rising inequality.

Richard will be back on deck soon.

Joana Partyka is the Australian Greens’ National Communications Officer and the editor of Green Magazine.

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