Tony Abbott’s $16.5 billion cuts to public hospitals in New South Wales will jeopardise health outcomes and lead to blow outs in emergency department waiting times.
Shadow Minister for Health, Catherine King today joined the Member for McMahon, Chris Bowen to highlight the impact the Abbott Government’s cuts will have on New South Wales’ hospitals and the families, pensioners and sick patients who rely on them.
As part of these cuts the South Western Sydney Local Health District faces a cut of more than $133.7 million over the next four years alone.
‘As a result of Tony Abbott’s broken promise not to cut health we will see an increase in elective surgery waiting times, an increase in emergency waiting times, and a reduction in the number of available hospital beds,’ Shadow Minister for Health Catherine King said.
‘On top of these cuts to public hospitals, Tony Abbott is slugging families and patients with a $7 GP tax every time they visit the doctor. In McMahon this will cost residents more than $8.3 million per year in out of pocket costs’.
Shadow Treasurer and Member for McMahon Chris Bowen said ‘sick patients in McMahon will be hit directly by the Abbott Government’s first Budget and future cuts to hospital funding.
‘If that isn’t enough, our region which has amongst the highest bulk billing rates in the country at more than 98 per cent will see locals face a $7 tax for every visit to their GP.
‘The $7 GP tax is not just about destroying Medicare, it will discourage people from seeking medical advice with all kinds of potential flow-on consequences for general health.’
Yesterday at the National Press Club the President of the Australian Medical Association, Associate Professor Brian Owler warned:
‘The stage is being set for a US-style managed care system in both the primary care and hospital settings’.
These cuts are all part of Tony Abbott’s plan to dismantle Medicare as we know it and create a two-tiered American style health system.
When it comes to Australia’s healthcare families and patients are being let down by the most uncompassionate government since Federation and the most ineffective health minister Australia has ever had.
Labor will stand up to Tony Abbott’s attack on public hospitals and Medicare. As the party that established Medicare we will defend it, and the next Labor government will rebuild and strengthen it.