Call for health plan

Mercury (Hobart) - - FRONT PAGE - CAMERON WHITELEY

THE Gov­ern­ment must bet­ter plan for ris­ing de­mand in the health sys­tem in­stead of just top­ping up bud­get short­falls ev­ery year, the Op­po­si­tion says.

Ac­tual health depart­ment spend­ing ex­ceeded the bud­get al­lo­ca­tion by $163 mil­lion, or 9 per cent, last fi­nan­cial year and by $109 mil­lion, more than 6 per cent, in 2017-18, an­nual re­ports show.

THE Gov­ern­ment must bet­ter plan for ris­ing de­mand in the health sys­tem in­stead of just top­ping up bud­get short­falls ev­ery year, the Op­po­si­tion says.

Ac­tual health depart­ment spend­ing ex­ceeded the bud­get al­lo­ca­tion by $163 mil­lion, or 9 per cent, last fi­nan­cial year and by $109 mil­lion, more than 6 per cent, in 2017-18, an­nual re­ports show.

The bud­get for health in the cur­rent fi­nan­cial year is $1.92 bil­lion, which is less than the ac­tual spend of $1.97 bil­lion in 2018-19.

In the for­ward es­ti­mates in this year’s bud­get, the Gov­ern­ment pro­jected it would spend more than $2.1 bil­lion on health in 2022-23.

La­bor’s health spokes­woman Sarah Lovell said the Hodg­man Gov­ern­ment had un­der­funded the health sys­tem for half a decade.

“Ar­ti­fi­cially sup­press­ing the health bud­get ev­ery year might make the bud­get bot­tom line look bet­ter but it means that our hos­pi­tals are for­ever run­ning in a cli­mate of aus­ter­ity which is not good for staff morale or pro­vid­ing care to pa­tients,’’ she said.

“We know that lives have been put at risk as a re­sult of the Lib­er­als fail­ing to fund ac­tual health de­mand.

“The Lib­er­als should be plan­ning for ac­tual health de­mand rather than con­stantly hav­ing to shovel more money into the sys­tem when it in­evitably runs out.”

Health Min­is­ter Sarah Court­ney said the Gov­ern­ment was de­liv­er­ing more than $8 bil­lion for Tas­ma­nia’s health sys­tem over the cur­rent bud­get and for­ward es­ti­mates.

“Health spend­ing as a per­cent­age of the en­tire state bud­get is now 32 per cent, up from around 25 per cent a decade ago,’’ she said.

“This year alone, the full year health bud­get is more than $100 mil­lion more than it was last year.

“We are in­vest­ing un­prece­dented fund­ing, re­flect­ing the Gov­ern­ment’s strong com­mit­ment to de­liv­er­ing record lev­els of health ser­vices, and we are de­ter­mined to en­sure that Tas­ma­ni­ans are see­ing the ben­e­fits of this in­vest­ment.”

Ms Court­ney said since March 2014, the Gov­ern­ment has re­cruited 1150 ad­di­tional full-time equiv­a­lent staff for the state’s health sys­tem.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.