Today’s reports that public hospitals are struggling to meet emergency department and elective surgery waiting times confirm the reality of the billions of dollars the Turnbull Government has cut from Australia’s public hospitals.
In its first Budget, the Turnbull Government:
- Cut more than $57 billion in public hospital funding
- Abandoned the National Health Reform Agreement and all of the associated reforms, including a commitment to Activity Based Funding.
- and cut the National Partnership Agreement on Improving Public Hospital Services and the $1.8 billion funding associated with it.
The National Partnership Agreement on Improving Public Hospital Services was agreed with every state and territory and included agreed emergency department and elective surgery waiting times.
“It is no wonder states are struggling to meet emergency department and elective surgery waiting times given the savage cuts imposed by Malcolm Turnbull” Shadow Minister for Health Catherine King said.
“Of equal importance is the fact that this government has completely walked away from any commitment to reform, abandoning any nationally set target or even talking about the possibility for improvement”.
The current scenario of public hospital funding is one that the President of the Australian Medical Association, Professor Brian Owler, has described as a “perfect storm”, with the Commonwealth withdrawing its commitment for sustainable public hospital funding, all the while with demand increasing due to an ageing population.
Labor has called on the government to abandon these cuts from the moment they were announced.
Today’s reports demonstrate the very real impact these cuts will continue to have.