The federal government will improve the health and care of patients in Far North Queensland with a guaranteed $1.25 billion boost to health services.
Under the program the government will partner with local community providers, health and hospital services and research institutions, such as James Cook University and CQUniversity, to provide additional funding in four key areas:
- Specialist hospital services such as cancer treatment, rural health and hospital infrastructure
- Drug and alcohol treatment
- Preventive, primary and chronic disease management
- Mental health
Federal Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch said this additional funding will see more doctors, more nurses and more services across Cairns, Mossman, Cooktown, Cape York and the Torres Strait.
“The $1.25 billion Community Health and Hospitals Program will fund projects and services in every state and territory, supporting patient care while reducing pressure on community and hospital services,” Mr Entsch said.
“This is the tangible benefit of strong economy and it is why we are so committed to keeping our economy strong.”
Mr Entsch said the new program will complement the Coalition’s record investment in public hospitals.
“Our funding for public hospitals across Australia, including in Far North Queensland, will more than double under the Coalition Government from $13.3 billion in 2012–13 to $28.7 billion in 2024–25,” he said.
“Our new five year National Health Reform Agreement will deliver more than $30 billion in additional public hospital funding from 2020–21 to 2024–25, taking overall funding during this period to $130.2 billion.
“This is record public hospital funding delivering more doctors, more nurses and more services.”
Mr Entsch said that a strong economy enabled the federal government to invest in even more essential health services for patients across Cairns and Far North Queensland.
“I want to thank the thousands of doctors across Cairns and Far North Queensland who continue to deliver world-class services to patients,” he said.
“Across Cairns and Far North Queensland the bulk billing rate for patients visiting their GP was even higher than the national average, growing to 87.7 per cent.
“In Cairns and Far North Queensland this rate is 4.7 per cent higher than Labor’s 83 per cent they achieved when they were last in government.
“Statistics show more Far North Queenslanders are seeing their doctor without having to pay than ever before.
“More than 686,000 bulk billed GP visits in Cairns and Far North Queensland were provided to patients over this time period, an extra 20,955 services compared to last year.
“The ALP and Bill Shorten have attempted to run a scare campaign around health funding but the facts and figures speak for themselves.
Labor should welcome these figures and cease their campaign of misinformation on Medicare and hospitals.
“Our commitment to Medicare is rock solid and we will continue to ensure Australian patients are supported more than ever.”