Family and health

Two of the most important things in life are family and health, so Debbie asks the question – what are the parties promising you and your family?

Economic policy, environmental issues and a National Broadband Network are all important in the big scheme of things but when push comes to shove, how can each party help ordinary Australians on a day-to-day basis? With a health system about to collapse under the weight of a growing Australia, an aged care system with so many stages and barriers it’s almost impossible to access the necessary care and parents struggling to find a suitable work life balance to provide support to their families, ordinary Australians are suffering on a daily basis with no light at the end of the tunnel.

Trotting out policies during an election campaign to hook voters is all well and good but after the headlines are yesterday’s news, what do Australians have to look forward to under the elected leadership?

Paid Parental Leave

Paid parental leave is something which both the Labor Party and the Coalition are hot on. Labor has already had their paid parental leave policy passed through the House of Representatives. Should the Labor Party maintain control, the Senate will be asked to pass the bill, giving parents up to 18 weeks Government funded parental leave at the National Minimum Wage, currently $543.78 per week. If we see the Coalition elected, mothers can look forward to 26 weeks paid leave at a full wage or the federal Minimum Wage if this is greater. Businesses with taxable incomes in excess of $5million will be asked to foot the bill for these payments with a 1.5% levy payable on incomes in excess of $5 million.

Paid parental leave is a win for families and the ageing population of Australia.

View the Coalition’s policy on paid parental leave.

View Labor’s scheme on paid parental leave.

Health Reform

Health reform is another topic which gets Australian’s hot under the collar. Ask anyone trying access health services in rural areas or those waiting for an operation and the current system is failing our nation’s health needs. The Labor Government have policies in place to streamline the management of the National Health and Hospitals Network, recently agreeing with state and territory governments to become the dominant funder of key services such as public hospitals, aged care and GP and primary care. This program which will provide extra beds, cut waiting times and deliver more elective surgeries will be the result of a $7.3 billion investment over five years. Under Coalition control, the hospital system will move to community-controlled model of management, giving the local health community a greater say in how hospitals are run. The Coalition will also directly fund 2,800 new beds to relieve the pressure on the public hospital system. Nursing scholarships and health and medical research will also form part of the Coalition’s spending on public health.

There is no denying that our current public health system is in need of investment as well as a management shake up. A centrally funded service may provide a more costs effective system but may take away important decisions from health practioners who know what is best for their community.

View the Coalition’s policy on Hospitals and Nursing

View Labor’s plan for Health Reform