The Morrison Minority Government has one last chance to make sure the Commonwealth pays its fair share for public healthcare in tonight’s Federal Budget.
For six years and three Prime Ministers, the Liberals have put Victorian doctors, nurses and patients last by trying to ram through a dud national health funding agreement that would see our state’s hospitals face a combined $2.1 billion cut.
Scott Morrison needs to prove to Victorian patients his plans for health aren’t just cuts, cuts and more cuts – and he can start tonight by finally agreeing that the Commonwealth will pay their share.
Currently, the Federal Liberals only fund 45 per cent of public hospital growth – and impose an arbitrary cap, refusing to contribute anything towards growth beyond 6.5 per cent. This fails to meet rising demand in our hospitals and puts extra strain on our hard-working doctors and nurses.
It’s also Scott Morrison’s last chance to address a groundswell of anger from the states and backtrack on a sneaky plan to shift the goal posts and claw back funding for services already provided by our hospitals. The claw backs have already seen our hospitals face a combined $305 million hit.
Scott Morrison must also stop short-changing vulnerable Victorians by withholding NDIS funding to prop up his Budget bottom line, and must address the aged care crisis he’s allowed to fester, where elderly Victorians are waiting too long for home care packages, putting more pressure on our hospitals.
Our doctors and nurses can’t provide first-class care without world-class hospitals, but while Victoria is Australia’s fastest-growing state, the Sydney-centric Federal Government refuses to fund new hospitals. In fact, the Federal Liberals have contributed just 0.25 per cent of hospital infrastructure projects in Victoria in the last four years.
The Andrews Labor Government will invest more than $395 million towards free dental care at all public primary and secondary schools, but until the Federal Liberals reverse their cuts, our dental system will pay the price.
Scott Morrison has one last chance to get it right, reverse the 30 per cent cuts, allow public dental providers access to the federal child dental benefits schedule and improve public dental wait times.
Scott Morrison likes to tell patients he’s on their side – it’s time he put his money where his mouth is.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos
“Scott Morrison has one last chance – reverse his cuts, fund his fair share of our hospitals and fix the dental system the Liberals have ignored.”
“You can’t slash billions of dollars from Australia’s health funding and not expect it to hit Victorian doctors, nurses and patients hard. Victorians won’t stand for the Morrison minority Government’s savage cuts to health.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020