The South Australian Government has warned the state’s health system is unviable in its current state because of Tony Abbott’s savage health cuts.
That was the sobering reality outlined by South Australian Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis as he delivered a tough Budget.
And Mr Koutsantonis warned:
"Let me be absolutely clear about the impacts of the Prime Minister’s cuts, bed cuts or hospital closures may be necessary.”
The Abbott government’s ‘savage cuts’ to South Australia amount to $655 million over the next four years and a $5.5 billion reduction to hospital and school funding over the next decade.
More than $284 million earmarked to upgrade four South Australian hospitals have also been suspended by the State Government because of the Federal Budget cuts.
One project on ice includes the $100 million major upgrade to Flinders Medical Centre, which would have seen entire wards refurbished and single rooms created for patients.
Other projects on hold are the:
• $125 million upgrade to Queen Elizabeth Hospital
• $31.3 million upgrade to Noarlunga Hospital
• $27.8 million upgrade to Modbury Hospital
The South Australian Budget also confirms that the Commonwealth contribution to South Australia’s health budget is expected to almost halve.
The President of the Australian Medical Association, Brian Owler, has warned that ‘public hospitals are already stretched to meet demand’.
These cuts will have a real impact on South Australians which is why Labor will stand up to Tony Abbott’s broken promises.
Tony Abbott doesn’t have a mandate to cut billions of dollars from hospitals. He should apologise to South Australia and reverse his decision to cut this important funding.