Consistent with the values stated in our Code of Ethics the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Sustainable Development Goals, the AASW supports a fully funded, comprehensive and inclusive Medicare system. Human rights and social justice cannot be achievable in a user-pays system, which results in further-entrenched inequality and disadvantage. Social workers bring a unique, non-medical perspective to health care, with a cultural, systems, person-in-environment focus.  

We endorse the growing acceptance of the principle that people can exercise informed choice over the services that they will receive. Empowering people to exercise control in their lives is consistent with a rights-based approach to human wellbeing and promotes the principle of self-determination that social work has long upheld. Nevertheless, we understand that ensuring that individuals can exercise choice will not automatically overcome the structural causes of injustice. Such long-term change relies on the work towards broader social goals that has been described above (AASW, 2017).