BILL SHORTEN MP
LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS AND ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDERS
MEMBER FOR MARIBYRNONG
CATHERINE KING MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR HEALTH AND MEDICARE
MEMBER FOR BALLARAT
LABOR TO SLASH ELECTIVE SURGERY BACKLOG
Tasmanians will get the essential surgery they need faster, with a Shorten Labor Government to invest $30 million to address Malcolm Turnbull and Will Hodgman’s elective surgery backlog.
Almost 6,000 Tasmanians are waiting for critical surgery under the Liberals’ surgery backlog – with 1 in 10 waiting almost a year. These are patients waiting for vital procedures such as knee and hip replacements, cataract surgeries, tonsillectomies and hysterectomies.
Labor’s $30 million investment will see almost 3,000 extra elective surgery procedures – equivalent to half of the current waiting list.
Federal Labor’s commitment will help patients waiting now and take pressure off waiting lists into the future.
This will build on Tasmanian Labor’s commitment of $75 million to improve waiting times for outpatient appointments and deliver elective surgery.
Labor’s commitments will also give Tasmania’s health workforce a significant boost – gearing up the state to attract new doctors and nurses as a result of hundreds of additional hours of operating time.
At the same time as patients are languishing on surgery waiting lists, Turnbull is cutting $11 million out of Tasmania’s public hospitals under the current agreement and wants to lock in his cuts for another seven years to 2025.
It says everything about Turnbull’s priorities that he is happy to leave Tasmanian patients waiting more than a year for a hip or knee replacement, at the same time as he is giving Australia’s billion dollar businesses a tax cut.
The Turnbull government is too inept and the prime minister is too out of touch to tackle Tassie’s elective surgery backlog.
Hodgman and the Liberals have failed to fight for patients and health workers – they have stood by while Turnbull has ripped millions out of hospitals and health services across the state.
In clear contrast, Rebecca White has prioritised health and is fighting for a better future for Tasmania’s hospitals.
Labor is making this $30 million investment in essential surgery, because we know Tasmanians deserve better than the waiting lists, neglect and cuts of the Hodgman/Turnbull partnership.
Turnbull’s Tasmania elective surgery backlog:
– One in four Tasmanians will wait outside the clinically recommended time – the worst in the country.
– 20% of patients are forced to wait more than a year for a hip replacement – five times the national average.
– 40% of patients are forced to wait more than a year for a knee replacement – six times the national average.
– 12% of patients are forced to wait more than a year for a cataract extraction – eight times the national average.
– 10% of patients are forced to wait more than a year for a hysterectomy – ten times the national average.
Source – AIHW Elective Surgery Statistics