About the Publication:
We owe the legacy of basic universal healthcare to Gough Whitlam who spent many years working on Medicare before he realised his vision. The reforms debated following this Pamphlet really set out that Medicare established basic health care for all Australians, no matter their age, location or background.
On the 29th of November 1973 the Hon. Bill Hayden outlined in the Health Insurance Bill 1973 that the purpose of Medibank was to provide the ‘most equitable and efficient means of providing health insurance coverage for all Australians’.
The objectives of the original Medibank were summarised by R. B. Scotton (1977) as universal in coverage, equitable in distribution of costs, and administratively simple to manage. Many Australians today take for granted the safety net of universal healthcare. Medicare truly has shaped the course, and health, of our nation.
I am extremely proud that The Australian Fabians have been able to reprint and reproduce the 1971 essay that started the debate. This essay, which was initially published in the 1971 Fabian Pamphlet, started the debate the changed our nation for the better, not once but twice.
This major social reform exemplifies the core mission of the Australian Fabians. To analyse the challenges facing Australia and the rest of the industrialised world in a changing society and global economy; to explore the political ideas and the policy reforms which will define progressive politics in the new century.
Series: Victorian Fabian Society Pamphlets
Author: Bill Hayden