Victorian hospitals are facing a further $73 million in cuts from the Federal Liberal Government, in a direct attack on Victorian patients and their families.
The cuts, which will hit Victorian hospitals and patients in March, are the result of an accounting trick that has changed the way Canberra calculates health activity funding.
This sneaky trick will see a further $73 million ripped away from Victorian public hospital patients, on top of Malcolm Turnbull’s already savage $17.7 billion cut to Victorian hospitals over the next 10 years.
Despite previously agreeing to Victoria’s counting method, applied by the former Victorian Liberal Government, the Federal Liberal Government, through the National Health Funding Pool Administrator, has back-flipped on how the National Health Funding Pool is calculated and allocated in Victoria.
Victoria has consistently acted within all the requirements of the funding agreement, and there is no reason why Victoria’s funding allocation should be recalculated.
This decision means Malcolm Turnbull will claw back $73 million in health funding from Victoria, leaving hospitals across Victoria facing cuts of millions of dollars to fill this black-hole.
This is funding that could have been used to treat 72,000 chemotherapy patients, attend to 180,000 emergency department presentations, or provide almost 12,000 elective surgeries.
Hospitals will be hit hard, with Monash Health set to lose $9.9 million – or 1,600 elective surgeries. Ballarat Hospital will lose $1.85 million, which equates to nearly 8,000 radiotherapy sessions.
Due to the change in counting measures, Victoria will not only lose $73 million upfront, we will be slugged by a further $36.6 million cut every year from now into the future.
This sneaky counting trick comes at a time when our hospitals are already under immense pressure due to Malcolm Turnbull’s impending $17.7 billion cut to our health system.
This callous decision will see Victorian patients waiting longer for vital care and treatments. This is not good enough and Victorian patients deserve better.
Malcolm Turnbull must immediately reverse this decision and stop punishing Victorian hospitals and patients just to prop up his budget bottom line.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Jill Hennessy
“Before the last election, the Liberals promised they wouldn’t cut health – yet all we’ve seen is cut, after cut, after cut.”
“These additional cuts to Victoria’s health system – which will hit our hospitals in March – are a direct attack on Victorian patients and their families.”
"We are sick of the Federal Liberal Government continuing to cut Victorian health funding with the expectation that the Andrews Labor Government will step in and fill the gap so Victorian hospitals and patients don't suffer."
Reviewed 19 August 2020