Celebrity former PM, Kevin Rudd has been challenged to advance
the future of hospitals by pledging to stop the wrecking ball of
Commonwealth cuts aimed at Queensland Health by the Labor
Mr Rudd, who once proposed to take 100 per cent of the funding responsibility for Australian hospitals, is challenged by Health Minister Lawrence Springborg, who says federal support for health is in free-fall.
“It’s just 24 hours since we were told of a 70 per cent cut in Commonwealth support for chemotherapy drugs,” Mr Springborg said. “It’s just a month since Labor clawed back $40 million in retrospective cuts to last year’s Queensland Health funding. It’s four weeks since it cancelled $342M in health reform funding that was promised to Queensland for the next four years.
"This is a shameful health record for Labor,” the Minister said. “Mr Rudd’s media club address is nothing more than a loud sound from an empty vessel. No wonder he is under siege in his own parliamentary seat and no wonder his opponent is the former AMA figurehead, Dr Bill Glasson.”
Mr Springborg said that in Queensland, the increase in state funding for health this year was greater than in any other state jurisdiction - in absolute dollars and in percentages. He said that in 2012-’13, Queensland Health funding was up $800M and 7.4 pc.
At the same time, the Queensland-based federal Treasurer, Wayne Swan, unleashed a wrecking ball of cuts that would cost hundreds of jobs and elective surgery at local hospitals across the state. “Commonwealth support for health was set to grow this year by just 0.3 pc,” Mr Springborg said. “Now that’s in reverse thanks to Mr Swan.”
The Health Minister challenged Mr Rudd to sign a pledge that he would stand shoulder to shoulder with Queensland health workers to oppose federal health cuts. “These cuts take away essential health resources,” the Minister said. “As the MP whose electorate includes Princess Alexandra Hospital, let him explain how we can continue without funding equal to 84,000 normal births, 15,000 hip replacements or 112,000 tonsillectomies.”
Minister for Health
The Honourable Lawrence Springborg
22 November 2012