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CWU Media Release_medicare

Telstra workers to be pawns in Turnbull's Medicare privatisation plan

In Malcolm Turnbull's most recent attack on public health, the management of sensitive private health information will be handed over to the private sector in a $180 million deal with Telstra.  

In yet another big-business cash-out, the sweet-heart deal with Telstra will see them take charge of a national cancer screening register, managing the records of all Australians with cervical and bowel cancer and HPV.


Communication Workers Union National Secretary Greg Rayner said that with existing experience in the sector, handing over to Telstra didn't make sense.


"Telstra workers don't want to be the foot soldiers in Malcolm Turnbull's war on Medicare," Mr Rayner said.


"Mr Turnbull has pushed out the experienced not-for-profit organisations that have been providing this service for years and put it into private hands.


"This is just another example of Malcolm Turnbull putting big business ahead of the public interest. 


"The Turnbull Government is dismantling Medicare brick by brick and handing our sensitive health information over to the highest bidder.


"Telstra is notorious for off-shoring their own customers' sensitive information and we have seen no detail around any safeguards that would be in place to protect our private health information." 


Mr Rayner said that Telstra's recent service issues raised questions about their ability to manage sensitive information. 


"Five major outages in just a couple of months, has seen Telstra's standing and trust in the community damaged, and now they are being given hundreds of millions of dollars to manage and protect the health records of millions of Australians."


Quick facts on the Liberals' cash hand-outs to Telstra. 


    • December 2014 - Liberals purchase Telstra's ailing copper network for $11 billion 
    • December 2015 - realising they bought a lemon - Telstra is engaged for $80 million to repair the trashed copper network 
    • May 2016 - Liberals increase mobile black-spot funding by $60 million taking total investment to $220 million for improvements to privately-owned mobile infrastructure. 
    • May 2016 - Liberals sell-off sensitive health information, engaging Telstra for $180 million




Media contact: Tim O'Halloran 0409 059 617


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