State Labor and Greens Refuse to Stand Up for Our Hospitals (17.01.2013)
Written on the 20 February 2013
Upper House Member for Southern Metropolitan Georgie Crozier today condemned the Victorian Labor Greens alliance that has refused to condemn Julia Gillard and the savage Federal health cuts to the hospital system.
Labor’s John Lenders and the Green’s Sue Pennicuik joined together to vote against a Coalition motion calling on Julia Gillard to reverse the millions of dollars the Prime Minister is with-holding from Victorian Hospitals.
“I worked in the public health sector, especially on the front line in service delivery, for 14-plus years and I know what a tremendous job our doctors and nurses in the public health sector do,” Ms Crozier said.
“The nature of the health system is challenging, complex, difficult and often unpredictable and it takes a lot of planning to ensure our ageing population and the complex health needs of Victorians are met. These demands are only going to increase.
“Funding for the hospital system is part federal and part state, with state burdening the majority of the cost, so it is incredibly disappointing when the Federal Government decided they no longer wanted to put its fair share in.
“Last year, the hospitals budgeted and expected the Federal Government funding contribution, yet six months in Julia Gillard decided she didn’t want to contribute as much leaving a massive shortfall for hospitals.
“Alfred Health’s Federal funding shortfall is $7,815,000 and Southern Health, which includes Monash Medical Centre, has a Federal funding shortfall of $13,501,000, funding that was budgeted for over the seven months to end of June – is now gone.
“Last November, at the Standing Council of Health meeting where all six state health ministers, including the Victorian Health Minister, collectively expressed concern about the reduction in commonwealth hospital funding, its impact, the basis for the decision and the lack of any consultation prior to that decision being made.
“It is an absolute indictment of Julia Gillard, the Federal Government and the Federal Health Minister not to consult, especially when you are dealing with the area of health care delivery and services and what those cuts are going to mean to Victorian patients.
“The impact of Federal Labor ripping millions out of Victora’s health budget means less beds, less nurses, less doctors, less outpatient services, less operations and less health service delivery right across every hospital and every health service in the state.
“Sadly, the Labor Greens alliance of Lenders and Pennicuik support the slashing of Federal funding, which will cause longer waits in emergency and longer waits on the elective surgery list,” Ms Crozier said.
Media contact: Darren Lawless 9555 4101