THE HON. CATHERINE KING MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR HEALTH AND MEDICARE
MEMBER FOR BALLARAT
LABOR CANDIDATE FOR BRADDON
TURNBULL GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS ADMIT TASMANIA HEALTH CUT
Just as Malcolm Turnbull was insisting during an FM radio interview that he hadn’t cut health funding in Tasmania his own officials were publicly contradicting him in Canberra.
Turnbull is clearly worried about Labor’s positive plan to deliver increased investment in Tasmania’s health care, including $4.5 million to boost specialist services through the TazReach program.
Tazreach provides access to critical medical services where they otherwise aren’t available, bringing specialists – including obstetricians, psychiatrists, cardiologists and optometrists – to the community rather than forcing people to travel to the cities or interstate.
But Turnbull and Liberal candidate Brett Whiteley slashed funding to this program in 2016 by $2.5 million – meaning fewer services and fewer people treated.
In Senate estimates, Health Department officials confirmed the TazReach cut had hurt the community. “It certainly would have led to a reduction in services, outreach services, delivered in that region.”
The official confirmation came as Turnbull was on radio trying to convince voters Labor was in the wrong:
“Saying that we have “cut” health funding … It’s an insult to the intelligence of the people of Braddon” – Malcolm Turnbull’s radio interview with Brian Carlton, Tasmania Talks LAFM.
“The real insult to the people of Braddon is Malcolm Turnbull’s health cuts,” said Shadow Health Minister Catherine King. “Every dollar of Turnbull’s $80 billion big business handout is a dollar he is cutting from local health and hospitals.”
Labor candidate Justine Keay said: “I’m fighting for a fair go for Braddon. Turnbull has ripped millions out of Tasmania’s hospitals, frozen rebates for GPs and specialists, and cut millions out of the TazReach program – and Brett Whiteley defended all of these cuts when he was the local member.”
“Labor has already announced $30 million to tackle Tasmania’s elective surgery waiting lists, which will mean another 500 elective surgeries in the North West – halving the current waiting list. We will also deliver increased funding in Tasmanian hospitals through our Better Hospitals Fund.”
WEDNESDAY, 30 MAY 2018