These People Are Facing The Coronavirus Without Jobs Or Medicare
Two weeks ago, Mostafa Z. lost his job at a cleaning company, joining millions around the world who are now unemployed due to the coronavirus.
But unlike most people in Australia, Mostafa doesn’t just need money to pay for food, rent and other daily expenses — he also needs it for basic healthcare. Under the terms of his temporary visa, he doesn’t have access to Medicare, Australia’s universal health insurance scheme.
Mostafa, a 36-year-old Kurd, fled Iran and sought asylum in Australia, arriving by boat in the first days of 2010. His refugee claim has travelled between different bureaucrats, tribunals and courts for the past decade, and is still unresolved. In the meantime, he’s been on a series of short bridging visas, which have given him work rights but no access to welfare payments or Medicare.
For over three years, he worked in a food factory, but injured his hand at work in mid-2015. His surgery and physiotherapy were covered by workers’ compensation, but the pain in his hand persisted and he left the factory job.
Since then, he has found it difficult to find full-time work and has jumped between contracts. The …continued .