Australian hospitals are “chronically underfunded”, doctors and nurses are at “breaking point”, and patients are waiting longer than ever for emergency treatment and elective surgery.
The latest AMA Public Hospital Report Card is an absolutely damning indictment of the cuts and chaos inflicted by the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government in the health portfolio over the last six years.
It should serve as a wake-up call to Scott Morrison – the cuts must end.
As Treasurer, Scott Morrison cut more than $700 million from our hospital system. Now as Prime Minister he’s trying to lock in $2.8 billion worth of cuts out to 2025.
If Scott Morrison is re-elected this hospital mess will only worsen. He doesn’t even recognise there is a problem with our hospitals, let alone have a plan for dealing with it.
The AMA report finds:
- Waiting times for elective surgery are now at their highest level since records began nearly 20 years ago, with half of all patients waiting at least 40 days for treatment.
- Longer waiting times for patients in emergency departments, with less than two-thirds of urgent presentations seen within the recommended 30-minute timeframe in 2017-18.
- By nearly every measure, public hospitals performance has worsened from a year ago.
The consequence? More deaths, more complications, delayed care, delayed pain relief and longer stays in hospital.
The report makes it clear, public hospital capacity is determined by funding. Nothing will improve until our hospitals are better funded.
Scott Morrison is today standing up at Westmead Hospital to try and convince Australians that the Liberals are properly funding health and hospitals.
What he won’t say there is that as Treasurer he cut $12 million from Westmead Hospital – equivalent to almost 500 knee replacements, more than 3,000 cataract extractions, or more than 18,000 emergency department visits.
This was part of a $215 million cut to NSW hospitals – equivalent to more than 8,000 knee replacements, almost 60,000 cataract extractions, or more than 320,000 ED visits.
As a result, over 80,000 people in NSW are now waiting for elective surgery. This is unacceptable.
A Shorten Labor Government will reverse Morrison’s cut with our $2.8 billion Better Hospitals Fund.
This includes a $250 million elective surgery waiting list blitz – equivalent to more than 62,000 cataract extractions or 9,800 knee replacements or 9,400 hip replacements.
And that comes on top of a $500 million public hospital blitz to improve waiting times for cancer patients as part of our Medicare Cancer Plan.
This election is a choice between Labor’s plans for better hospitals and schools, or bigger tax loopholes for the top end of town under the Liberals.
SATURDAY, 20 APRIL 2019