Tony Abbott’s cuts to health are already putting more pressure on a struggling health system in Western Sydney.
Reports last week that 26,000 patients had to seek medical treatment outside their area due to poor access to services will only be worsened by Tony Abbott’s health cuts.
Already the Abbott Government has cut more than $203 million from public hospitals in New South Wales and $6 million for an MRI licence at Mt Druitt hospital.
Shadow Minister for Health Catherine King and Member for Chifley Ed Husic today heard first hand of the pressures on Western Sydney patients from local GPs, Medicare Local Western Sydney staff as well as patients and staff at Mt Druitt Hospital.
“Patients in Western Sydney are already struggling to get the services they need. An end to bulk billing, a tax on doctor visits and a hospital tax will cripple health services in western Sydney,” said Shadow Minister for Health Catherine King.
“It’s time the New South Wales Government stood up to Tony Abbott’s health cuts and publicly opposed plans to introduce a hospital tax. Tony Abbott’s twisted budget priorities are hurting families in Western Sydney and the decisions being made in secret will only exacerbate the situation.”
“Over 4,000 local residents signed a petition for an MRI licence for Mt Druitt hospital. One of Tony Abbott’s first acts as Prime Minister was to cut this funding and deny patients in Mt Druitt the health services they deserve,” Member for Chifley Ed Husic said.
“By taking our vital equipment and shutting down wards, the Federal and State Liberal Governments are simply hollowing out Mount Druitt Hospital. They’re downgrading the hospital and Mount Druitt doesn’t deserve a second class health system.”
“When confronted with the news of the Abbott Government’s cuts to Mount Druitt Hospital, the NSW Health Minister played politics, sticking up for her federal mates instead of local patients.”
In 2011/12 only 72 per cent of patients in Western Sydney were treated at a local hospital. Labor addressed this in government by promising nearly $120 million of equipment and workforce investments in Western Sydney health infrastructure, which included funding for MRI services at Mt Druitt Hospital. These investments are amongst the first victims of Tony Abbott’s broken promises.