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 CANDIDATE FOR FLYNN
FEDERAL LABOR TO BUY THE GLADSTONE MATER HOSPITAL
A Shorten Labor Government will ensure the people of Gladstone continue to get the health services they need by buying the city’s private hospital and partnering with the Queensland Government to keep it open.
Following the representations made by Labor Candidate for Flynn, Zac Beers, Federal Labor is committing to spending $15 million to help acquire the hospital on behalf of the Queensland Government.
We welcome the announcement by the Queensland Government that they will operate the Mater as an extension of the existing public hospital, ensuring the people of Gladstone don’t lose any of the health services they rely on.
Like many private hospitals across the country, the Gladstone Mater Hospital is under pressure – and will close without intervention – because of the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government’s failures on health policy.
The LNP’s failure to rein in the cost of private health insurance has seen premiums go up by an average $1100 since 2013. As a result, hundreds of thousands of Australians have ditched their cover – putting many regional private hospitals like the Gladstone Mater at risk.
The Queensland Labor Government last week called on Scott Morrison to help save the Gladstone Mater but he has refused to engage because he doesn’t care whether regional Queenslanders have adequate health services.
In welcoming the announcement, Zac Beers said “this is a big win for the Gladstone community and will provide great peace of mind for local families that they will continue to have access to affordable and quality healthcare.
“Following the Mater’s public announcement last week, I went to work to secure this major funding commitment to save the Mater Hospital. “As one of Australia’s major industrial towns, it’s so important we have the local healthcare capacity to cater for future population and industrial growth.
“Like many local residents, I am sick and tired of the current LNP Federal Member Flynn sitting on his hands when it comes to critical local issues. I’ll always fight to deliver the outcomes Gladstone needs and deserves” said Zac Beers.
This investment builds on Federal Labor’s existing commitment to deliver a publicly funded MRI licence for Gladstone and to more than reverse the $6.1 million in LNP cuts to Central Queensland Hospitals.
Saving the Mater is part of Labor’s Fair Go Action Plan to fix our hospitals and strengthen Medicare.
The LNP on the other hand just cut and cut and cut from health. As Treasurer, Scott Morrison cut from health and hospitals in every Budget he delivered.
He cut $160 million from Queensland’s hospitals under the current 2017 to 2020 funding agreement, including $6.1 million from Central Queensland Hospitals. And now he’s trying to lock in those cuts for another five years – a dud deal that the Queensland Labor Government is resisting.
Labor will reverse the Liberal cuts with our $2.8 billion Better Hospitals Fund, which we will use to fund this new investment.
Only Labor can be trusted to fix Queensland’s health and hospital services.
And only Labor can be trusted to rein in private health insurance costs by capping premiums at two per cent for two years, saving the average family $340. We will also order a Productivity Commission inquiry to come up with long-term reforms to restore value and affordability to health insurance.
THURSDAY, 21 MARCH 2019