MEDIA RELEASE: MALCOLM TURNBULL MUST REVERSE HOSPITAL CUTS IN BUDGET

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THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP
ACTING LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR EDUCATION AND TRAINING
SHADOW MINISTER FOR WOMEN
MEMBER FOR SYDNEY

THE HON CATHERINE KING MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR HEALTH AND MEDICARE
MEMBER FOR BALLARAT

MALCOLM TURNBULL MUST REVERSE HOSPITAL CUTS IN BUDGET

Malcolm Turnbull faces a key test in next month’s Budget - to reverse his cuts to hospitals around Australia, including the $14 million cut to Box Hill and other Eastern Health hospitals in Melbourne.

Mr Turnbull is cutting $715 million from Australia’s public hospitals between 2017 and 2020 – including $14 million from Eastern Health.

The cut to Eastern Health alone is equivalent to:

-          21,000 emergency department visits; or

-          4,000 cataract surgeries; or

-          Over 500 knee replacements; or

-          33,990 outpatient appointments.


Doctors, nurses and other hospital staff in Eastern Health are already overstretched – and Malcolm Turnbull’s cuts will only make things worse.Mr Turnbull is prepared to give big business a $65 billion tax handout but he can’t even find a fraction of that money to properly fund Australia’s hospitals. That says everything about his priorities.

The question for Malcolm Turnbull now is: will he do the right thing in next month’s Budget and reverse these cruel hospital cuts?The $14 million cut to Eastern Health is part of a $183 million cut to hospitals across Victoria.

In 2016-17, Victoria’s emergency departments saw a record number of people, with 1.73 million presentations. The last thing the state’s hospitals need is a funding cut

Australians don’t go to our public hospitals because they want something to do – they go because they desperately need health care to get back on their feet.

They’re people waiting for hip surgery, knee replacements, and dealing with life-threatening health issues.

Every dollar cut from our public hospitals is a dollar cut from our sickest and most vulnerable patients.

Access to health care should be determined by your Medicare card – not your credit card.

Mr Turnbull must reverse his hospital cuts in next month’s Budget.


Additional statistics:

  • In 2016–17, there were 7.8 million presentations to Australia’s public hospital emergency departments—an average of more than 21,000 presentations each day. In Victoria, there were 1.73 million presentations in 2016-17 – an average of 4,742 each day.
  • There are 158,000 more presentations to Victoria’s emergency departments a year than before the Federal Liberals were elected.
  • 8% of Australians will visit an emergency department every year – that’s around 872,600 people in Victoria.
  • More than 50 percent of public hospital doctors are working unsafe hours that put them at significant risk of fatigue – including 75% of intensive care specialists, with the Australian Medical Association saying “the strain and the pressure on our public hospitals is having a detrimental impact on the health of our doctors.”

 

THURSDAY, 26 APRIL 2018