Damning evidence the Turnbull Government’s $57 billion hospital cuts is the equivalent of closing two major hospitals in one state is just the tip of the iceberg, with every state and territory hit by the blatant broken promise.
The acting secretary of the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services has told the inquiry Victoria will lose $17.7 billion over the next decade as a result of the cuts, the equivalent of 23,000 elective surgeries every two years, or the closure of two major hospitals.
But Victoria’s experience is far from isolated, with every state and territory suffering as a result of the decision to tear up the hospital funding agreement.
The Queensland Health Department has estimated its share of the cut at $11.8 billion or the equivalent of 4,500 doctors, nurses and allied health practitioners.
NSW will lose over $16.5 billion, South Australia $4.6 billion, Western Australia $4.8 billion, Tasmania $1.1 billion, the ACT $900 million and the Northern Territory $600 million.
The evidence provided by Victoria will be repeated in every state and territory with tens of thousands of elective surgeries cut, hospital beds closed, and thousands fewer doctors nurses and other health workers.
The Government has repeatedly denied making any cuts to hospitals, but this has been repeatedly exposed as a lie by both the Parliamentary Budget Office and by its own Treasury in this table provided to estimates last year.
These cuts were made in breach of a clear promise by the Liberal Party to maintain Labor’s funding formula in its 2013 Election Health Policy
These These cuts are the single biggest contribution to the reduction in spending being claimed by the Government in its Intergenerational Report.
In addition, the Government has cut a further $3 billion from Australia’s public hospitals over the next four years by abandoning funding guarantees under the National Health Reform Agreement and changing indexation arrangements.
State premiers have warned the cuts are unsustainable and simply amount to a massive cost shift onto patients, and the states.
This latest evidence just confirms these cuts will increase emergency department waiting times, increase elective surgery waiting times, and reduce the number of hospital beds across the country.