- Protect our land and water from mining.
- Honesty and integrity in politics
- Local jobs
- People before profits
- Improved heath and education services.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Senate Inquiry slams Government on hospital funding cuts


 A Greens-initiated Senate Inquiry into hospital funding cuts has today released a scathing report that slams the Federal Government's mid-year cuts to hospital funding.

Senator Richard Di Natale

"Labor's cuts to hospital funding were an appalling act of penny-pinching," said Greens health spokesperson, Senator Richard Di Natale.

"The funding cuts have caused enormous upheaval in the public hospital system - surgeries have been cancelled, bed numbers have been reduced, emergency departments have been put under threat.

"An unwillingness to stand up to the mining companies and fix its dud mining tax left Labor scrambling for savings but I'm appalled that it tried to save it by pulling money out of public hospitals.

"The Federal Government relied on a dodgy interpretation of population data as justification for its cuts, and then tried to get away with it by blaming it on the states.

"It's indefensible that some of these cuts were retrospective, requiring states to pay back money from previous years and even worse the cuts were enforced half way through the financial year.

"Labor back-tracked on the eve of this Senate Inquiry by returning $107 million to Victorian hospitals, bypassing the Victorian Government. It was a cynical PR move that formed yet another chapter in the shameful blame game. If Labor was serious it would fully restore funding to all states, not just this year but into the future.

"If you're a parent whose child has asthma you want to know that the emergency department at your local hospital won't be closed at night. If you're stuck on an already long waiting list for a hip-replacement, you don't want to hear about a freeze on surgeries and bed closures. If you're a doctor or nurse you want to know your job won't be unfunded in the middle of the year."

The full report from the Senate Finance and Public Administration Committee can be downloaded here: http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate_Committees?url=fapa_ctte/completed_inquiries/2010-13/public_hospital_funding/report/index.htm

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