Catalogue Number: 3655
The making of Medibank
Sub-Category: Book of historical note
Author: SCOTTON R.B., MACDONALD C.R.
Year Of Publication/Manufacture: 1993
Time Period: 1940 to 1999
Place Of Publication/Manufacture: Sydney, Australia
Publisher/Manufacturer: School of Heath Service Management, University of New South Wales
Description Of Item: Blue printed card cover, 250 x 175 mm, 320 pages, 17 figures plus several cartoons, 4 tables, three appendices, bibliography and index
Historical Significance: This book presents a comprehensive and scholarly account the need for, the politics of and events leading the Australian universal heath care insurance scheme, known as Medibank (now known as Medicare). It was introduced in 1974 and optometric services were included in 1975. It replaced a health insurance scheme introduced in 1953 by the Menzies Liberal government. It was subsidised by government but was not universal since it involved monetary contributions from those who chose to participate in the scheme and was unduly complex.The book includes an excellent and detailed account of the battle to secure benefits for optometric services on pages 147 to 149.The senior author, of this book, Richard Scotton AO BA BEcon, along with John Deeble, was the architect of the scheme. Between 1965 and 1970, Scotton and Deeble worked to formulate a universal health care system for Australia. At that time, Australia was coming to the end of more than two decades of conservative government by the Liberal-National Coalition under Prime Ministers Robert Menzies, Harold Holt John Gorton and William McMahon. The Liberal and National parties opposed such a system, and so the plan was initially rejected. However, the Government's attitude changed in 1972 with the election of the reformist Whitlam Labor Government, that had campaigned promising to implement free universal health care in Australia for the first time. Scotton later entered the public service to implement his Medicare (known at the time as Medibank) program as chairman of the Health Insurance Commission (1973-1976).
How Acquired: Donated by Optometry Australia
Date Acquired: July 2018
Location: Archive room. East wall. Books of historical note