BILL SHORTEN MP
LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS & ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDERS
MEMBER FOR MARIBYRNONG
THE HON CATHERINE KING MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR HEALTH AND MEDICARE
MEMBER FOR BALLARAT
A Shorten Labor Government will invest more in every single public hospital in the country – with an extra $2.8 billion in funding for more beds and shorter surgery wait times.
Labor’s Better Hospitals Fund will see $2.8 billion extra investment from 2019-2025, fully reversing Turnbull’s cuts and funding more beds in emergency departments and wards, more doctors, more nurses and more health staff.
This funding will be targeted to reducing emergency department and elective surgery waiting times, which have blown out under the Liberals’ cuts to Medicare and hospitals:
- The national average wait time for elective surgery is the longest on record.
- The number of hospital beds available for elderly Australians is the lowest on record.
- The number of people presenting at emergency departments is the highest on record – and yet one in every three patients considered ‘urgent’ isn’t seen on time.
There were 7.8 million emergency department presentations in 2016-17 – one million more than five years ago. This growth is putting our hospitals under immense pressure – and they need more funding to keep up with the increasing demand of a growing and ageing population.
Our commitment will benefit every hospital and patient in the country.
Labor is the only party that believes in universal health care and we are determined to fix our hospitals.
The Liberals have cut from Medicare and hospitals in every year since Tony Abbott’s horror 2014 Budget.
Malcolm Turnbull has continued this assault, cutting $2.8 billion from hospitals between the next election and 2025.
Turnbull is giving an $80 billion handout to big business and the banks instead of funding health. He is leaving Australians languishing on waiting lists for critical surgery such as hip operations, knee replacements and cataract removal at the same time as he is giving the banks a $17 billion tax giveaway.
The health of Australians should never take a back-seat to a hand-out for big business. That’s why Labor will fight to give Australian patients a fair go with more funding and better hospitals.
Labor will invest an extra $764 million over the forward estimates and $2.814 billion over six years to fix Australia’s public hospitals, with the funding to be allocated from a Better Hospitals Fund. Labor’s plan has been fully costed by the independent Parliamentary Budget Office.
THURSDAY, 10 MAY 2018