PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 2670

LABOR'S HEALTH NATIONALISATION PLANS - STATEMENT BY THE PRIME MINISTER, THE RT HON WILLIAM MCMAHON CH MP

Photo of McMahon, William

McMahon, William

Period of Service: 10/03/1971 to 05/12/1972

More information about McMahon, William on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 05/09/1972

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 2670

FOR PRESS: PM No 82/ 1972
LABOR'S HEALTH NATIONALISATION PLANS
Statement by the Prime Minister, The Rt Hon. William McMahon,
C. H. M. P.
The statement of Mr. W. G. Hayden, that Labor
would not attempt to introduce a system of salaried medical
services and that such an action would be constitutionally
impossible requires the closest analysis.
It is in direct conflict with the Labor Party platform
and the statements of his leader Mr. Whitlam and his colleagues.
The simple truth is that there is no constitutional
disbarment at all. The Labor Party could and would nationalise
the medical and hospital professions by the process of " squeeze".
Its policies are aimed to do just that.
A penetrating insight into the Labor Party's mass
Socialist intentions was given by Mr. Whitlam in his 1972
Fabian Lecture in Melbourne on 25 July.
The main theme of that address was his rejection of
the argument that the constitution offers any obstacle to full
socialisation. He said: " It would be intolerable if a Labor Government
were to use the alibi of the constitution to excuse failure to
achieve its Socialist objectives doubly intolerable because
it is just not true that it need do so".
He added: " My basic proposition is this: If Section 92
is held up as the bulwark of private enterprise, then Section 96
is the charter of public enterprisc Section 51 the key to
National responsibility and national regeneration".
Section 96 permits the Commonwealth to make grants to
the States for special purposes. By this device by the
offering or withholding of funds a Socialist central government
could reduce the States to mere puppets. ./ 2

-2
But fir. Whitlam has been even more specific with
regard to Labor's health policies. In the same lecture he said:
" The major act of nationalisa-io in the traditional sense, to
be undertaken by a Labor government in the next term, will be
through the establishment of a single health fund, administered
by a Health Insurance Commission w-ith contributions' made accorded
to each tax payers means and treatment accorded to each patient s_
needs'.' Those are plain enough words. Everyone should know
what " nationalisation in the traditional sense" means. The
warning is clear.
The A. C. T. U. President, Mr. Hawke, at the opening of
the Federal campaign in the Shortland seat confirmed on
3 September that the A. L. P. was a Socialist party and that he had
no respect for any person who denied this.
The Labor Party h1as made it clear that all medical
specialists at public hospitals under its policy would be fully
salaried and not on a fee-for-scrvice or sessional payment.
This is the essential instrument of nationalisation of
medical specialists call of whom must have full access to
hospitals in order to pursue their profession.
Two other squeezes will operate on the specialists.
T~ rhe Labor Party's single nationalised health insurance commission
will provide benefits for public wards only, unlike the existing
voluntary schemes which provide full cover for intermediate and
private wards. Labor's policy, which must reduce drastically the
number of intermediate and private wards in public hospitals and
force almost everyone into public wards, would seriously restrict
the many specialists now in private oractice who function today
mainly in non-public wards, except in the discharge of their
honorary duties. / 3I

Transcript 2670