Australians are languishing for longer in emergency departments and on elective surgery waiting lists because of the savage cuts the Liberals have inflicted on the nation’s hospitals.
As Treasurer, Morrison inflicted savage cuts on health and hospitals in every budget he authored. Now we are seeing the damage those cuts have done.
Two new reports by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare show how Australians are paying the price for Morrison’s crusade of health cuts.
The first report shows median wait times for elective surgery have blown out across the country.
Ninety per cent of patients now wait an average 268 days for their surgery – a 10-day increase on last year. The proportion of patients waiting longer than a year for a procedure has also increased since last year.
The second report shows a rise in waiting times for emergency care since the Liberals came to power.
Just 72 per cent of people presenting to the nation’s emergency departments are being seen on time.
That means 2.2 million Australians who needed emergency care were not seen on time last year.
Our emergency departments are under more demand than ever before, as more people present with more complex and acute health issues. The Government should be boosting funding to deal with this.
Instead, they have cut $715 million from public hospitals from 2017 to 2020. And now they’re trying to lock in billions more in cuts for a further five years.
They also scrapped Labor’s National Partnership Agreement on Improving Hospitals Services – which included specific investments to reduce emergency department and elective surgery waiting times and helped hold states accountable for their performance.
It doesn’t matter if it’s Tony Abbott or Malcolm Turnbull or Scott Morrison or Peter Dutton in charge this week – health and hospital cuts are in the Liberal DNA.
By contrast, Labor has promised to fully reverse the Liberals’ cuts to public hospitals from after the next election to 2025 through our $2.8 billion Better Hospitals Fund.
Only Labor will get emergency department and elective surgery wait times down.
THURSDAY, 6 DECEMBER 2018