Labor claims cuts hurting patients Sarah Brookes
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.”