La­bor claims cuts hurt­ing pa­tients Sarah Brookes

Kalamunda Reporter - - News -

EASTERN sub­urbs pa­tients will wait longer for surgery and in emer­gency de­part­ments af­ter nearly $15 mil­lion in Fed­eral cuts to Mid­land and Kala­munda hos­pi­tals, ac­cord­ing to La­bor MPs.

Fed­eral Op­po­si­tion health spokes­woman Cather­ine King and La­bor can­di­date for Hasluck Lau­ren Palmer vis­ited Mid­land Hos­pi­tal last month to hear about the im­pact of health cuts on lo­cal hos­pi­tals.

Ms Palmer said ev­ery dol­lar cut from pub­lic hos­pi­tals was a dol­lar cut from the sick­est and most vul­ner­a­ble pa­tients.

“Our com­mu­nity isn’t go­ing to our pub­lic hos­pi­tals be­cause they want some­thing to do – they are there be­cause they des­per­ately need health care to get back on their feet,” she said.

“There are peo­ple wait­ing for hip surgery, knee re­place­ments and deal­ing with life-threat­en­ing health is­sues.

“Ac­cess to health care should be de­ter­mined by your Medi­care card, not your credit card.”

WA La­bor Se­na­tor Glenn Sterle said the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment had cut $77m from WA’s health sys­tem from 2017-2020.

“La­bor cre­ated Medi­care; we will al­ways fight to pro­tect Medi­care and we will fight the cuts to hos­pi­tals,” he said.

A spokesman for Fed­eral Health Min­is­ter Greg Hunt re­jected La­bor’s claims.

“Our record hos­pi­tal fund­ing means more doc­tors, more nurses and im­por­tantly more ser­vices and sup­port for WA pa­tients,” he said.

“Un­der the Na­tional Health Agree­ment Heads of Agree­ment, signed by the WA La­bor Gov­ern­ment, WA hos­pi­tal fund­ing would in­crease from over $10 bil­lion in the five years to 2019-20 to more than $14 bil­lion in the five years to 2024-25.

“This is a fund­ing in­crease of 34 per cent.”

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