THE HON CATHERINE KING MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR HEALTH AND MEDICARE
MEMBER FOR BALLARAT
THE HON JIM CHALMERS MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR FINANCE
MEMBER FOR RANKIN
LABOR CANDIDATE FOR FORDE
MALCOLM TURNBULL’S BUDGET TEST: WILL HE REVERSE HIS HOSPITAL CUTS?
Malcolm Turnbull’s Budget test draws nearer: will he reverse his $715 million in cuts to Australian hospitals? Or is he happy to see more surgeries delayed and emergency department waiting times continue to blow out?
Turnbull’s cruel cuts include $160 million ripped from Queensland’s hospitals between 2017 and 2020, including $6.1 million taken from Logan Hospital.
The cut to Logan Hospital is equivalent to:
– 9,159 emergency department visits; or
– 1,694 cataract surgeries; or
– 234 knee replacements; or
– 33,990 outpatient appointments.
Doctors, nurses and other hospital staff in Queensland hospitals are already overstretched – and Turnbull’s cuts will only make things worse.
Turnbull is prepared to give multinationals and the big banks an $80 billion tax handout in next week’s Budget but apparently he can’t even find a fraction of that money to properly fund Australia’s hospitals.
Under Turnbull, elective surgery waiting times are they worst they’ve been since records began.
Patients are being left in emergency departments for longer, with only 66 per cent seen within the recommended 30 minutes.
And more than half of all public hospital doctors are working unsafe hours that put them at significant risk of fatigue.
Despite all this, Turnbull is still putting health and hospitals last.
That says everything about his twisted priorities.
Australians don’t go to our public hospitals because they want something to do – they go because they desperately need health care to get back on their feet.
They’re people waiting for hip surgery, knee replacements, and dealing with life-threatening health issues.
Every dollar cut from our public hospitals is a dollar cut from our sickest and most vulnerable patients.
Access to health care should be determined by your Medicare card – not your credit card.
The question for Malcolm Turnbull now is: will he do the right thing in the Budget and reverse these damaging cuts?
FRIDAY, 4 MAY 2018