THE HON. CATHERINE KING
SHADOW MINISTER FOR HEALTH AND MEDICARE
MEMBER FOR BALLARAT
LABOR CANDIDATE FOR DAWSON
A Shorten Labor government will invest millions of dollars in additional funding in the Mackay region’s public hospitals, funding more beds and bringing down emergency department and elective surgery waiting times.
We have pledged to reverse Malcolm Turnbull’s 2019-2025 hospital cuts by establishing a national $2.8 billion Better Hospitals Fund – meaning we will deliver a record investment in the health of all Australians.
Turnbull is cutting $4.5 million from the Mackay Local Hospital Network between 2017 and 2020 alone – including $3.2 million from Mackay Base Hospital.
That’s equivalent to 6,800 emergency department visits, 11,000 outpatient visits or 173 knee replacements across the network.
Now Turnbull wants to lock in another huge cut over the subsequent 5 years.
In contrast, Labor’s investment will fund more doctors, nurses and other hospital staff and give them the support they need to deliver the world-class care the people of this region deserve.
Labor is the party of public health and Medicare – and we will always deliver better public hospital funding than the Liberals.
The Liberals will stop at nothing to privatise and Americanise Medicare and our public hospital system.
Greg Hunt claims hospital funding is at record levels. But this ignores the fact there will be 5 million extra people living in Australia in 2025 than there were in 2015.
The independent experts say “spending is actually declining on a per capita basis” and warn “Australians will either become sicker or be forced to pay more for medical care”.
In his latest Budget, Turnbull is showering $80 billion worth of tax cuts on his mates at the top end of town – but apparently he can’t find a fraction of that money to properly fund Australia’s public hospitals.
His priorities are all wrong.
After years of conservative funding attacks, Australia’s public hospitals are in crisis. They simply cannot keep up with the increasing demand of an growing and ageing population.
The Australian Medical Association says the Liberals’ funding formula will “doom our public hospitals to fail and patients will suffer as a result”. This situation simply cannot go on.
Labor will fix Queensland’s hospitals.
THURSDAY, 17 MAY 2018