THE HON CATHERINE KING MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR HEALTH AND MEDICARE
MEMBER FOR BALLARAT
TURNBULL’S HOSPITAL MONEY NOTHING MORE THAN OWED BACKPAY
Today’s confirmation of supplementary hospital funding is nothing more than the Turnbull Government finally coughing up backpay to the states and territories for services they have already delivered.
This does absolutely nothing to address the savage funding shortfall under Turnbull’s hospital cuts.
The last Labor Government negotiated the historic National Health Reform Agreement with the states, and committed to fund an equal share of efficient growth in hospital costs.
Before the 2013 election, the Liberals promised “no cuts to health” and said “a Coalition Government will support the transition to the Commonwealth providing 50 per cent growth funding”.
But the Liberals broke this promise, tearing up the Agreement in their very first Budget – leading to the current crisis in our public hospitals. This backpay funding does nothing to address this crisis.
The recent Australian Medical Association Report Card shows that hospital waiting and treatment times continue to blow out under Turnbull, with the AMA saying:
“The current funding formula will doom our public hospitals to fail, and patients will suffer as a result”. [AMA PUBLIC HOSPITAL REPORT CARD 2018]
The AMA has also noted that the current funding formula is puts pressure on our public hospitals which could compromise care:
“The AMA calls on the Government to… lift public hospitals out of their current funding crisis, which is putting doctors and patients at risk.” [AMA 2018-19 BUDGET SUBMISSION]
The Liberals can never be trusted on health, and only Labor will properly fund Australia’s public hospitals.