Report outlines Liberals’ sell-out of Medicare and Centrelink services

A new CPSU report has outlined the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government’s five-year attack on Medicare and Centrelink services, and the impact of that attack on ordinary Australians who provide and rely upon those services.

The report includes the results of a survey of nearly 1,300 Medicare, Centrelink and Child Support workers employed by umbrella agency the Department of Human Services (DHS).

The ongoing damage being caused to DHS services by the Government will be a major focus of the CPSU’s activities in the lead-up to the next federal election.

CPSU Deputy Secretary Melissa Donnelly said: “This report paints the full picture of the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government’s damaging and ideologically motivated attack on Medicare and Centrelink services.  Australians should know that a vote for the Coalition is a vote for more damaging cuts and privatisation in DHS.”

“Whether you’re talking about the robo-debt debacle, the thousands of quality, permanent DHS jobs that have been cut or the decision to farm essential Medicare and Centrelink services out to profit-hungry multinationals like Serco and Stellar, this Government has undermined the department at every step and continues to do so.”

“Anyone who’s needed to access Medicare or Centrelink services in recent years knows that service quality has declined, including the 48 million callers who couldn’t even get through on the phone at all in 2017-18. Critically, this report now also includes the perspective of our members who work so hard to provide these services.”

“DHS workers know the inside story on why the services they provide to the community have declined under this Government, with our survey providing damning statistics particularly on the use of labour hire and privately run call centres. Workers have seen the impact of massive job cuts and now they’re also seeing the flow-on impacts from farming work out to corporate interests focussed on profits not people.”

“Human Services Minister Michael Keenan’s main weapon to defend this Government’s horrendous track record on Medicare and Centrelink services appears to be paying another multinational corporation, KPMG, the say what a great job he’s doing. The CPSU’s report gives Australians the real story, and they should vote accordingly.”