I have some concerns about the 2018 Federal budget, specifically in relation to privatization and mental health.
Remember the “Medicare privatization” issue, where the Liberals said: “No, we don’t want to privatize Medicare”? … Well, they are actually privatizing health services in the budget this year, from what I read in the budget documents:
Prioritising Mental Health — aftercare following a suicide attempt
The government is going to give money to “beyondblue”, which is a private company to do follow-ups with people that had suicide attempts so those people follow their commitments to appointments with psychologists, etc. (which they call “Way Back Support Service (WBSS)”), that is essentially something of health services that I understand has been provided by the public health system in Australia; and I understand from reading the budget papers that the public health system will stop doing those functions that will be transferred to “beyondblue”, so that is essentially privatization. (The government is also going to give money to “The Junction Clubhouse cairns” which is also a private company about programs for mental health)
Is this privatization of health services in Australia?
Beyondblue’s “Way Back Support Service”:
Support Coordinators deliver the service to help people stay safe and connected with:
their support networks and
existing health and community services
during a period of high risk and vulnerability.
The public health system is ALREADY doing that:
What to expect from your Mental Health Service:
Linking you with a local GP if required and assisting with appointments
Helping you to attend activities, such as yoga or Pilates, which will help to improve your physical health and wellbeing
When a private company starts doing activities that the public system was doing, using money given to them from the government, that is privatization isn’t it?
I’m a big supporter of Beyondblue and have been for years. I help raise money for them and men’s health, but I don’t like to see money that should go to public services going to private companies instead. It’s a shady way to privatize, and nobody seems to be talking about it….
The 2018 federal budget is located here: