By Julie Owens MP

03 September 2021

Healthcare system in crisis

Right now our health is at risk. Our economy is held hostage. Families are being kept apart. Children are stressed and missing school.

This is happening because the Morrison Government has failed to deliver on vaccines and quarantine and his economic and welfare strategy has left people and businesses behind. And people caught in this crisis are struggling to navigate NSW Government rules that seem to change every day.

Enough is enough – the government needs to do better. I will always fight for Parramatta families and if you’re doing it tough, I want to hear from you. Sign the petition here tell me your story and put your name to the campaign to force the government into action.

 

Parramatta still doesn’t have local walk-in vaccination hubs

COVID hospitalisations have doubled in the past fortnight and we’ve seen Westmead Hospital turn away patients, ambulances backed up for up to 8 hours and exhausted frontline workers forced to work 16 or more hours on double shifts.

They are all victims of the Morrison Government’s failed vaccine rollout, which left NSW vulnerable to this outbreak and has left parts of Western Sydney including Merrylands and Granville with some of the lowest vaccination rates in NSW.

To get through this pandemic, we urgently need access to more vaccines. Many in our community are still waiting for their appointments. Parents who can’t arrange child care are forced to choose between visiting mass vaccination hubs with their kids in tow – potentially exposing them to COVID – or delaying their vaccination. And more and more children are testing positive to COVID every day.

That’s why I’m demanding that walk-in vaccination hubs be set up in the Parramatta CBD and surrounding suburbs so that everyone has an opportunity to be vaccinated.

If you think our state and federal governments should stop blaming Western Sydney for this outbreak and start working together to set up walk-in vaccination centres in Parramatta now. click here to sign the petition

 

Cuts to Medicare under the cover of COVID

While Australia is struggling through a pandemic and the media is distracted by the latest covid numbers, Scott Morrison has snuck through almost 1,000 cuts and changes to Medicare.

One in six Medicare rebates have been affected, radically altering the cost of hundreds of orthopaedic, cardiac and general surgeries.

Despite the scale and impact of these changes, doctors and healthcare providers only learned the details around three weeks before they came into effect on July 1. That means people who planned surgeries before their doctor was notified about the changes now face out of pocket costs of up to $10,000.

This follows a pattern of rising out of pocket costs under the current Liberal Government, which has seen gap fees go up by around $10 for GP visits and a whopping $30 for specialists. It now costs 43% more to see a doctor in Parramatta than it did in 2013.

I’m fighting to stop the Morrison Government from eroding what’s left of Medicare. I hope you’ll join me – scan the QR code to sign the petition on my website and tell the Morrison Government to abandon these cuts and changes.

If these cuts and changes have affected you or someone you care about, click here to  get in touch with my office.

Help during lockdown

A huge number of people and businesses in our community are relying on government support payments to get through this lockdown. But many in our community are not eligible for these payments or find they don’t go far enough.

Volunteers and local community organisations continue to step up wherever the government is absent, providing emergency relief including meals, food parcels and food vouchers.

I’ve added a list of government payments and services and local emergency relief providers to my website. Find more information here if you or someone you know needs help.