Malcolm Turnbull has one choice on Budget night next week – drop his health cuts and drop them all. No exceptions and no excuses – he must drop his health cuts in full and straight away.
Further reports today indicating the Government will pick and choose which parts of their six-year freeze to address are yet more proof they don’t listen and don’t have a clue about health.
Anything less than immediately dropping 100% of his Medicare freeze will be a total failure.
If they think that only dropping some of their horrible cuts will be good news, then they are more out-of-touch than we could have imagined.
Reports also suggest the Government is set to blindside the states and territories and lock-in the status quo on Federal hospital funding without consultation. This would be a new low in their terrible record on hospitals.
Their form is clear – they tore up Labor’s historic hospitals agreements for years and then threw back a fraction of the funding that was needed to keep up with demand and lower emergency department and elective surgery waiting times.
As states, territories and stakeholders have made clear, current funding levels are not good enough to both address the damage done by this Government and set our hospitals up for the future:
“The additional $2.9 billion (over three years) in funding to the States announced at COAG on 1 April is welcome, but clearly inadequate to enable public hospitals to meet public need over the long term.”
[AUSTRALIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION, 17 MAY 2016]
With emergency department and elective surgery waiting times failing to be met, the Government cannot simply roll forward their insufficient funding levels into the future – they should restore the funding of hospitals to a 50% commitment of the price of efficient growth.
It’s now looking like the Government will put in place a cynical attempt to bundle a bunch of bad news and pretend it is good news for our health care system.
But Australians know the truth – this Government cannot be trusted on health.
If Malcolm Turnbull does not drop every single health cut, effective July 1, then it will be an insult to the millions of Australians who voted against his unfair health policies and more evidence he will never get the impact of his cuts.
THURSDAY, 4 MAY 2017