O'Farrell budget cuts to hit health system hard
Spending on NSW hospitals in the State Budget won't come close to keeping up with increasing demand and will put patient care at risk, Shadow Health Minister, Dr Andrew McDonald said today.
"The O'Farrell Government's Budget cuts have hit our health system, with the funding set aside unlikely to even come close to meeting the rising demand for services in hospitals across the State," Dr McDonald said today.
"The Health Minister's meagre funding increase of only 5.4 per cent just isn't enough to meet the growing demand in our health system.
"By comparison, in the final two years of the Labor Government, our health system received a 17.7 per cent funding boost.
"Surgery and Emergency Department waiting times are all increasing due to bed block and the O'Farrell Government's underfunding of our health system is only going to make things worse.
"NSW Emergency Departments are failing to meet federal waiting time benchmarks – with just 59 per cent of patients being treated and discharged or transferred in the recommended four hour time frame – down a whopping 12 per cent on the same time last year.
"As a practicing paediatrician, I know how stretched our hospitals already are.
The O'Farrell Government's refusal to provide our health system with the funding it needs to meet increasing demand is going to put patient care at risk.
"I'm concerned the O'Farrell Government's refusal to adequately fund vital hospital upgrades means some hospitals could wait years longer than they were promised before the upgrades are completed.
"Hornsby Hospital will receive just $3.5 million – a paltry 2.9 per cent - of the funding promised by the government.
"Blacktown Mount Druitt Hospital will see only $16 million – or just 5.9 per cent – of the total funding needed for its vital redevelopment.
"Campbelltown Hospital will only receive a paltry $26 million – only 18 per cent – of the total cost of its upgrade, which has been delayed by one year and fails to include the 60 extra mental health beds desperately needed at the hospital.
"Parkes Hospital and Forbes Hospital have each received only $2 million towards major health upgrades the region desperately needs, with no start date or total costings.
"Five years after the Health Minister called for urgent action on the Northern Beaches Hospital, construction funding is yet again on hold, with no known start date.
"The O'Farrell Government promised to improve our health system, but instead we are seeing our hospitals going backwards."
Tags: Andrew McDonald, health, hospitals, Jillian Skinner, waiting times