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Chemotherapy Slashed Under Turnbull’s Health Cuts

11 January 2018

Victorian cancer patients stand to miss out on more than 100,000 chemotherapy procedures because the Federal Liberal Government is refusing to pay more than $100 million in funding it owes to Victorians.

Despite conceding late last year that Victoria was owed the money, Malcolm Turnbull has failed to reimburse hospitals for treating tens of thousands of extra patients, putting the future funding of our hospitals at risk.

Minister for Health Jill Hennessy said the $104 million owed was the equivalent of around half the funding to build the new Joan Kirner Women’s & Children’s Hospital at Sunshine.

These cuts are creating uncertainty for hospitals trying to plan for future patient demand, and the Andrews Labor Government has had to step in and top up funding while waiting for reimbursement.

But even though the National Health Funding Pool Administrator – an independent expert – has provided advice that Victoria is owed this money, Malcolm Turnbull has refused to pay up, putting at risk the treatment of thousands of extra Victorian patients.

The $104 million owed to Victoria is equivalent to:

  • 100,222 more chemotherapy procedures for Victoria’s cancer patients
  • 212,964 extra dialysis sessions for sick patients
  • More than 650 extra nurses
  • 54,104 colonoscopies.

This delay comes after ongoing attempts by Malcolm Turnbull to claw back health funding from the pockets of Victorians, and is in addition to over $1.5 billion in cuts to our hospitals in the Federal Budget’s forward estimates.

This is yet another example of the Prime Minister for Sydney – Malcolm Turnbull – again dudding Victorians.

Despite being home to more than 25 per cent of the nation’s population, Victoria continues to receive just 10 per cent of federal infrastructure funding.

In contrast, Malcolm Turnbull’s home state of New South Wales receives a whopping 45 per cent. Victorians deserve better than that.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Jill Hennessy

“Victorians deserve to know why Malcolm Turnbull is once again short-changing them – this time at the expense of their health. It’s not good enough.”

“When Malcolm Turnbull cuts Victoria’s health funding to prop up his budget bottom line, Victorian patients miss out on life-saving treatment.”

“Instead of playing political games from his waterside mansion in Sydney – Malcolm Turnbull should actually come to Victoria and meet some of the cancer patients his funding cuts will impact.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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