Labor is deeply concerned at reports patients are being held hostage by a brawl between the Prime Minister and Treasurer over Malcolm Turnbull’s attempt to buy off the states with a pre-election bribe on hospital funding.
The Coalition ripped $57 billion from public hospital funding in its first Budget, in a move NSW Liberal Premier Mike Baird has denounced as “unsustainable”.
Now, with the election looming, Malcolm Turnbullis reported to be trying to buy off the states with a short term deal.
$1 billion would do little to ease the pressure on public hospital emergency departments and waiting rooms caused by Malcolm Turnbull’s $57 billion in cuts to public hospital funding, and the $1.8 billion ripped from emergency departments and elective surgery in the 2014 Budget.
But the fact even this paltry amount is causing further divisions between the prime minister and treasurer, highlights the absolute chaos within the Turnbull Government and patients are being made to suffer.
In evidence before Senate Estimates earlier this month, officials from the Department of Health revealed they had been shut out of the hospital negotiations.
The decision to ignore Health’s advice, and sideline it from the hospital funding talks, confirms Malcolm Turnbull is more interested in a political fix, than a proper long term funding arrangement for public hospitals.
Our public hospitals are too important to be used as political plaything, and to be held hostage to the collapse in relations between the Prime Minister and his Treasurer.