For-profit schemes threaten universal health care

December 2015

May 2014. Medical students were among over 2,000 people protesting the Australian government’s plan for co-payments on doctor visits. Photo: Freya Michie / ABC News See more photos of the Hands Off Medicare rally at the FSP-Australia Facebook page. Australians are about to lose a universal health care system they’ve depended on for decades. It’s… Read more »

Fake reform from the healthcare industry and Congress

Summer/Autumn 2010

Per person, healthcare costs in the United States are the highest of any country in the world; U.S. spending is twice that of countries such as France and Germany. What does all that money buy? Not much! The U.S. ranks only 42nd for life expectancy among highly developed countries and 29th for infant survival. So… Read more »

Right to choose: In Victoria, lesbians and all women win historic rights. Now we must defend them.

Summer/Autumn 2009

2008 ended with a stunning double victory for reproductive justice in Victoria: the decriminalisation of abortion and access to Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) for lesbians and single women. Both took years of unflinching organising. Up against the terrible twins of “pro-family” reaction — misogyny and homophobia — the pro-choice forces won out. Bravo! Most people… Read more »

Oh, what a system! Defence of Medicare is crucial, but why stop there?

Winter/Spring 2003

Recently I heard either a politician or a journalist describe the current Medicare scheme as being in need of an overhaul. Talk about an understatement — it needs much more than an overhaul, and don’t I know it! Two years ago I was informed by my friendly general practitioner that, added to the woes of… Read more »

After SARS: working class and democratic struggle revives in Hong Kong

Winter/Spring 2003

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), like cholera and most other diseases, arises as a consequence of the conditions of poverty. In this instance, from the initial transference of the disease from wild animal markets into the slum conditions created by capitalism in Guangdong — where 40% of China’s manufacturing is based. Now diners are back… Read more »

Public Liability Crisis: Insurance for profit is a fraud on society

Winter/Spring 2002

Rural doctors afraid to practise, private midwives barred from delivering babies, tourist operators forced out of business, houses standing half built, sport and not-for-profit activities suspended as insurance premiums increase by up to 1500%. For many working people, small businesses and communities, the withdrawal of insurance cover is having dire consequences. There is certainly a… Read more »

World AIDS care movement wins concessions

Summer/Autumn 2002

Credit goes to the international movement, fighting to win affordable access to HIV medications, for making the biggest dent in the World Trade Organisation’s 2001 agenda. The movement scored three wins. First, the government of the U.S. was forced to drop its charges against Brazil at the WTO, charges which aimed to prevent production and… Read more »

Solving the problem of HIV/AIDS

Summer/Autumn 2001

Melbourne — World AIDS Day, 1 December 2000 was marked by a  resurgence of militancy. A Speak Out organised by Queers United to Eradicate Economic Rationalism (QUEER), which put forward both local and international demands, also celebrated the achievements of 17 years of organising to defeat HIV/AIDS. Activism worked then… Veteran gay liberationist and historian,… Read more »