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Abbott’s Cuts To Health Will Hit Hard In Regional Victoria

01 May 2015

Hospitals across regional Victoria will lose billions of dollars over the next ten years as a result of the Abbott Government’s cuts to health.

The Minister for Health, Jill Hennessy, today joined the Federal Shadow Minister for Health, Catherine King and local MPs, Sharon Knight and Geoff Howard at Ballarat Base Hospital, which alone will lose $348 million over the next ten years.

Prior to the last federal election, Tony Abbott said: “A Coalition Government will support the transition to the Commonwealth providing 50 per cent growth funding of the efficient price of hospital services as proposed”. (Source: The Coalition’s Policy to Support Australia’s Health System, August 2013, pg 6)

However, in the last federal Budget the Abbott Government broke this promise. It has cut the Commonwealth’s contributions to Victoria’s public hospitals, removing current funding guarantees.

As a result, Victoria’s public hospitals will lose $13.6 billion over the next ten years.

This will impact regional health services which already operate under extreme financial pressure, including:

  • Barwon Health, which will lose $642 million
  • Bendigo Health, which will lose $364 million
  • Ballarat Health, which will lose $348 million
  • Albury Wodonga Health, which will lose $278 million
  • Latrobe Regional Hospital, which will lose $249 million
  • Goulburn Valley Health, which will lose $231 million
  • Mildura Base Hospital, which will lose $135 million
  • Northeast Health Wangaratta, which will lose $123 million
  • West Gippsland Health Care Group, which will lose $92 million
  • Wimmera Health Care Group, which will lose $79 million

These cuts – which come on top of $1 billion ripped out of health by the previous State Liberal Government – will see Victorians waiting even longer for treatment in emergency departments and for elective surgery.

The Abbott Government has also walked away from key components of the National Partnership Agreement on Improving Public Hospital Services, including:

  • $840 million over the next ten years to fund new subacute beds, and
  • Up to $50 million in reward payments for emergency department and elective surgery waiting list times.

Victorians are rightly angry that the Abbott Government has broken its promise and cut funding for our hospitals.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health, Jill Hennessy

“Tony Abbott’s cuts will see sick Victorian patients wait longer for treatment. It’s that simple.”

“As highlighted in a national report yesterday, Victoria’s hospitals are already incredibly efficient – this means there’s no more savings to be made. These cuts will make it harder for hospitals to treat patients in a timely way.

“The Federal Government needs to play its part and contribute its fair share so Victorians can get the treatment they need.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Wendouree, Sharon Knight

“Tony Abbott promised us he wouldn’t cut health but all we have seen is cut after cut after cut.”

“Our hospital can’t afford to lose this funding.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Buninyong, Geoff Howard

“The Ballarat community will suffer because of Tony Abbott’s cuts to health.”

“The hardworking doctors and nurses at Ballarat Base Hospital do everything they can to treat locals in a timely way – these cuts will make it harder for them to do this.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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