New data released today shows why Malcolm Turnbull needs to drop his cuts to Medicare and hospitals, with emergency departments struggling to cope under unprecedented demand.
The NSW Bureau of Health Information has today revealed NSW hospitals are grappling with record numbers of admissions and visits to emergency departments. As Malcolm Turnbull’s health cuts take effect, this situation will only get worse.
Mr Turnbull’s GP tax by stealth will reduce bulk billing, and drive even more patients into already overcrowded emergency departments.
When one in 20 Australians already delays or avoids visiting a GP because of cost, the last thing our health system needs is more barriers to primary care.
Today’s data follows the stark warning issued in this year’s Australian Medical Association Public Hospital Report Card. Emergency department and elective surgery waiting times are already getting worse, and this trend will simply continue until Malcolm Turnbull drops his health cuts.
That’s why, during the election campaign, Labor committed to end Malcolm Turnbull’s attack on Medicare by unfreezing the Medicare Benefits Schedule. Labor also committed to restoring the National Health Reform Agreement on hospitals for four years, and providing additional support to the States and Territories to reduce waiting times for elective surgery and in public hospital emergency departments.
This would have boosted hospital funding by $2 billion more than the Liberals over the next four years, and meant reduced hospital waiting times, more beds, more doctors and nurses.
Labor also committed to invest in desperately needed infrastructure upgrades – like $88 million to improve Nepean Hospital.
Malcolm Turnbull said straight after the election that he had learned his lesson, but while his cuts to health remain, he has learnt nothing at all – and Australia’s public hospitals will continue to suffer.
WEDNESDAY, 7 SEPTEMBER 2016
MEDIA CONTACT: JOANNE CLEARY, 0428 816 751