Abbott's hospital cuts hit the region today

SJ_Kolomeitz_Phillips_hospital_4.JPGShadow Assistant Minister for Health, Stephen Jones joined State Labor candidates Glenn Kolomeitz and Fiona Phillips at the Shoalhaven District Hospital to highlight over $50 billion in cuts to public hospitals by the Abbott Government that will start hitting patients from today.

“Shoalhaven families are right to be concerned about Tony Abbott’s broken promises on health”, said Jones.

“Over $50 billion is being ripped out of public hospitals – $65 million of that right here in the region – and it starts today.

“There’s no two ways about it – these cuts are going to have a massive impact on patient care in the Shoalhaven.”

Before the election Tony Abbott promised no cuts to health. His first budget has ripped over $50 billion dollars from health and hospitals across Australia.

Glenn Kolomeitz says the Federal Government cuts of over $1 billion from tearing up the National Health Reform Reform Agreement compounds NSW Government cuts of over $3 billion since the Liberals were elected in 2011.

“Our hospitals were already straining from NSW Government cuts, and these Federal Liberal Government cuts will make a bad situation dire”, said Kolomeitz.

“Cuts to health and hospitals is in the Liberal Party DNA and patients in our community will be worse off.”

Fiona Phillips says patients in regional areas are already at a disadvantage when it comes to accessing primary healthcare.

“Waiting times for potentially life-saving surgeries are already being pushed back by months for patients in the Shoalhaven”, said Phillips.

Stephen Jones says cutting over $65 million from Shoalhaven hospitals will only increase emergency department waiting times, elective surgery waiting times, and reduce the number of hospital beds across the region. It’s just not good enough.”

Over the next decade, this is the equivalent of:

•        Sacking 1 in 5 nurses;

•        Sacking 1 in 3 doctors; and

•        Closing 1 in 13 hospital beds.

“Australia’s most senior medical experts have warned the Abbott Government that public hospitals are already stretched to meet demand, and that these changes will set healthcare in Australia back by more than 50 years”, said Jones.

“Tony Abbott breached the trust of thousands of patients across the Shoalhaven when he said there would be no cuts to health.

“They didn’t vote for these cruel cuts, and they shouldn’t have to pay the price.”