Scott Morrison’s hospital cuts will hit Cairns hard, leaving local residents facing longer wait times for elective surgery and emergency treatment.
The Liberals have slashed more than $7 million in funding from Cairns Hospital – one of the deepest cuts from any hospital in Queensland – and the effects are already being felt.
As Treasurer, Morrison cut $715 million out of Australia’s public hospitals between 2017-2020.
Cairns’ share of the national cut is equivalent to:
• Over 10,000 emergency department visits;
• Over 17,000 outpatient visits;
• Over 2,000 cataract extractions;
• or 20 extra nurses.
As a result, doctors, nurses and staff at Cairns Hospital – and particularly in its emergency department – are already struggling to keep up with rapidly increasing demand.
Cairns Hospital emergency department is experiencing year-on-year average growth in activity of 4 per cent – making it one of the busiest EDs in the state.
The number of Cairns Hospital ED presentations exceeded 70,000 for the first time in the 2017-18 financial year.
A recent review of the hospital recommended an urgent redevelopment, including more and better clinical spaces, as well as improved ambulance entry, triage, reception, waiting areas and staff amenities.
But instead of funding these improvements, Morrison just cuts and cuts and cuts from health care.
Now Morrison is seeking to lock in even more savage hospital cuts out to 2025.
He tried for three years to give big business an $80 billion tax cut – but we won’t properly fund our hospitals. His priorities are all wrong.
Every dollar cut from Cairns Hospital is a dollar cut from sick and vulnerable patients.
A Shorten Labor Government will invest millions of dollars in additional funding in Queensland’s hospitals, funding more beds, doctors and nurses, and bringing down emergency department and elective surgery waiting times.
We have pledged to reverse Morrison’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.
This will restore the difference between the Liberals’ promise to fund 50 per cent of hospital cost growth and its actual policy of funding 45 per cent.
Only Labor can be trusted to fix Queensland’s hospitals.
FRIDAY, 28 SEPTEMBER 2018