BILL SHORTEN MP
LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS AND ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDERS
CATHERINE KING MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR HEALTH AND MEDICARE
MEMBER FOR BALLARAT
LABOR’S PLAN TO BUILD BETTER HOSPITALS
A Shorten Labor Government will invest $1 billion on vital upgrades to Australia’s public hospitals – building new wards with more beds, upgrading emergency departments and theatres, and establishing new palliative care and mental health facilities.
Our doctors, nurses and hospital staff do an amazing job, but we know there are hospital facilities across the country that are aging and in dire need of a revamp to ensure patients get the best care possible.
At a time when everything is going up except people’s wages, soaring health care costs under the Liberals are putting more strain on the family budget – and more strain on our public hospitals. Out-of-pocket GP costs have increased by 25%, specialist costs by almost 40% and private health insurance premiums by 30%.
1.3 million Australians skip getting basic health care because of cost – and this puts extra pressure on our public hospitals.
That’s why Labor will invest an additional $1 billion upgrading hospitals across the country, with every state and territory to benefit from these targeted investments that will ensure patients can access modern and safe health services, and that doctors and nurses have the tools they need to deliver the best possible care.
We are already partnering with state and territory governments to identify projects that will make a tangible difference to the lives of Australians – whether they’re giving birth, undergoing essential surgery, waiting for emergency treatment or reaching the end of their lives.
Labor’s $1 billion investment will be flexible to meet the needs of individual hospitals – in some cases, this will mean rebuilding and expanding existing facilities so they can cater for more patients, in other cases it will mean the construction of brand new units to meet the health needs of a community.
From downtown Sydney to regional WA, from rural Tasmania to Far North Queensland, from inner Melbourne to regional South Australia and the Northern Territory: Labor will ensure more Australians can access essential health services close to home so they don’t need to travel to the next town or city.
This investment blitz is a key part of Labor’s Fair Go Action Plan to improve our public hospitals and strengthen Medicare.
We can afford to spend more on health care because we’ve made the tough decisions to make multinationals pay their fair share and close unfair tax loopholes.
This $1 billion worth of capital investments will come on top of our commitment to restore the core public hospital funding cut by the Liberals.
A Shorten Labor Government will always invest more on health and hospital services than the Liberals.
The Liberals have an appalling record on health funding, inflicting cut after cut after cut.
That’s why Australians today are paying more than ever to see the doctor, and why people are languishing longer than ever in emergency departments and on elective surgery waiting lists.
As Treasurer, Scott Morrison cut from health and hospitals in every Budget he delivered.
He cut $715 million from hospitals under the current 2017 to 2020 funding agreement with the states. And now he’s trying to lock in even bigger cuts for the next five years. Only Labor is promising a better deal.
Since becoming Prime Minister, Morrison’s sought to cut even more from hospitals and has refused to lift the six-year Medicare rebate freeze.
Labor knows there’s nothing more important than your health – that’s why we will always fight for better health care and why only Labor can be trusted to fix Australia’s hospitals.
MONDAY, 18 MARCH 2019