Shadow Assistant Minister for Health, Stephen Jones and Member for Moreton, Graham Perrett today visited the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Hospital in Brisbane to meet local health professionals concerned about the billions the Abbott Government is ripping out of Queensland hospitals and health programs.
“Tony Abbott has made a complete mockery of his pre-election promise that there would be no cuts to health”, said Stephen Jones.
“His first Budget has ripped $80 billion out of health and education across the country, with $16 billion coming straight out of the Queensland health system.
“It comes on top of the $43.9 million cut to Queensland preventative health programs by scrapping the National Partnership Agreement on Preventative Health with the states and territories.
“This is extremely concerning given findings in this week’s COAG Reform Council’s Healthcare in Australia 2012–13: Five years of performance report that 30 per cent of Queenslanders are now obese, leading to an increase in the number of chronic diseases such as diabetes.
“These cuts will put significant strain on the services provided by public hospitals, and the GP Tax will only make matters worse, driving patients into the Emergency department who could alternatively have seen their GP for preventative treatment free of charge.
“The Coalition’s health policy seems to have been created in an evidence-free zone”, said Jones.
“It was revealed by the Department of Health just last week that no modelling has been done on the effects the GP Tax will have on chronically ill patients, GPs and emergency departments in our public hospitals.”
Member for Moreton, Graham Perrett confirms the Prime Minister has no idea what pain his $16 billion in cuts to Queensland hospitals will have.
“In a response to a question in Parliament on the immediate impact these cuts will have, the Prime Minister asked: “where is the problem?”
“The problem is the Prime Minister is shutting hospital beds by cutting billions of dollars in funding and taxing locals out of seeing their GP when they’re most at need.
“The problem is that over 4,000 doctors, nurses, midwives, psychologists, radiographers and oncologists have already lost their jobs in Queensland, and many more will now face the chopping block because of these cruel cuts.”
Graham Perrett says the QEII Hospital received $83 million under Labor’s National Partnership Agreement, which included the refurbishment of the emergency department.
“I was proud to see this new and improved ED that opened last year and can report, as a father of young children, the staff do a fantastic job!
“I’ve also met countless members of the community who’ve benefited from Labor’s community aged care packages and extended aged care at home dementia packages, and they know the Prime Ministers slashes to health will cut through to the bone.”