Labor’s Rural and Regional Health spokesperson, Stephen Jones, and Labor candidate for Eden-Monaro, Mike Kelly, today announced a $2 million plan to upgrade Tumut District Hospital’s Emergency Department and enhance its telemedicine infrastructure.
Stephen Jones said that telemedicine infrastructure was crucial in regional Australia, where many people live long drives from health care.
“Rates of chronic disease are higher and life expectancy is lower outside of major cities. We need to get around and support the hard-working doctors and nurses here in places like Tumut, and make sure that everyone can have timely access to healthcare,” Mr Jones said.
“The Liberals’ health record has been disastrous. They have axed billions from our public hospitals and declared war on Medicare.
“Because they have frozen the Medicare rebate, GPs will be forced to charge patients more and those that can’t afford it will end up in Emergency Departments just like this one here in Tumut.
“At the local level this means that hospitals are under the pump and patients wait longer and longer to be seen to.
“The division and dysfunction within the Government became clear this week when the Health Minister said that she wanted to unfreeze the Medicare rebate but the Treasurer, Scott Morrison, pulled her back into line.
“Who knows what will happen next? Healthcare is never safe under the Liberals.”
Mr Kelly said the Turnbull Government’s chaotic handling of health was being felt in Eden-Monaro.
“If the Liberals were really concerned with healthcare in the bush, they wouldn’t be abandoning patients relying on services like Tumut District Hospital,” Mr Kelly said.
“This $2 million promise will ensure that Tumut Hospital can enhance its telemedicine facilities, something that is absolutely essential in a regional electorate.
“Many people live a long drive from health services, so making sure that Tumut Hospital has the latest technology available is very important.
“Labor is delivering for patients in the bush. We will make sure that everyone can access the healthcare they need.”