Hospitals: Federal Funding (05.02.2013)
Written on the 19 February 2013
The federal Minister for Health, Tanya Plibersek, should speak with her federal colleagues Julia Gillard, the Prime Minister, and Wayne Swan, the Treasurer, and reverse the decision they made last November to slash $107 million from Victorian health services. The $107 million budget cut undertaken by the federal government occurred during this financial year -- that is, after hospitals and health services had agreed to and were working within their set budgets. The health services know what the federal government has done and so do Victorian patients. Tanya Plibersek and her federal colleagues have totally disregarded the May 2012 budget commitments they made to hospitals.
To say that a cut to health services budgets was justified due to a decrease in population displays a federal government that thinks it can take Victorians for fools. The federal government's claim that in 2011 there was a decrease of in excess of 11 000 people in the population is absurd. Victorians know this was not the case. Victorians should also understand that the federal government has not only slashed $107 million from the budgets of Victorian hospitals this financial year but has also cut in the vicinity of $475 million over the forward estimates. That equates directly to fewer beds and fewer health services.
Victoria is not the only state condemning these cuts. At a recent meeting of health ministers there was bipartisan support amongst the six state health ministers, including Labor ministers from Tasmania and South Australia, in condemning the cuts. Victorians know the federal government cannot manage money. The Labor government here in Victoria could not manage money.
The federal government's justification for cutting hundreds of millions of dollars from Victorian health services due to an alleged decrease in population shows that it is a government that just does not care.Hospitals: