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Queensland and Medibank – “Joh: The Life and Political Adventures of Johannes Bjelke-Petersen”, Hugh Lunn

October 15th, 2012 · No Comments · Health Policy, Policy, Queensland

In fact, there were many things that Labor did to put Queenslanders offside, and these ranged from kangaroo shooting to Medibank. Although the latter scheme was put into effect by a Queensland Politician, Bill Hayden of Ipswich, and with considerable administrative skill, there was one big political hitch which offended Queenslanders and this was the proposed special Medibank tax levy of 2 ½ per cent. A Queensland Labor government had, decades earlier, introduced free general hospitals in Queensland. Now, under Hayden’s scheme, they were going to have to pay a special additional tax for something they thought they already had. Of course the injection of much more federal money would, eventually, mean better hospital facilities. But, in the short term at least, it smacked of Queenslanders subsidising southerners. On top of that, Queensland’s existing free hospital scheme – which often involved long delays in waiting rooms – made many people willing to accept the state government’s arguments that Medibank would mean even longer queues and further bureaucratic tangles.

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