Federal Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch has called on the local Labor candidate to come clean and start telling the truth about Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service funding.
Commonwealth funding* for the Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service has increased from $127 million when Labor left office to more than $242 million last financial year.
This represents an increase of 90.7 per cent.
Commonwealth funding for the Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service will continue to grow to $378.6 million by 2025.
Far North Queenslanders can head to www.health.gov.au/health-funding-facts to get the facts on hospital funding.
Mr Entsch, who visited the Cairns Hospital Emergency Department today with Queensland Shadow Health Minister Ros Bates, said the Labor candidate was running a scare campaign about hospital funding.
He said Far North Queenslanders deserved better than a Labor candidate trying to win votes based on a con.
“Labor like to talk a big game about health but the reality is it is the Coalition Government that actually delivers,” Mr Entsch said
“I challenge the local Labor candidate to show Far North Queenslanders exactly where in the official budget papers these so-called cuts are because they simply do not exist.
“She is running her campaign based on a lie and she needs to be called out on it.”
Mr Entsch the Morrison Government, through a strong economy, would continue to deliver essential health services for Far North Queenslanders.
“In January this year, I delivered a new Medicare bulk-billed Cairns MRI licence to give Far North Queenslanders access live saving scans,” he said.
“I have delivered the $60 million Cairns University Hospital, JCU Dental School and Medical School, the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine and more recently $9 million for a stand-alone drug and alcohol facility for Cairns that will be run by Mission Australia.
“The Coalition Government has listed more than 2,000 medicines on the PBS worth almost $10.5 billion – that is nearly one per day since we won government.
“These new medicines will assist thousands of Far North Queenslanders suffering from cancer, heart disease, epilepsy, spinal muscular atrophy and severe asthma to name just a few.
“The GP bulk billing rate in Leichhardt is 87.8 per cent which means around 9 in 10 visits to local GPs are now bulk billed.
“The Coalition Government also lifted the Medicare freeze introduced by the former Labor government in 2012.
“We can invest in all these essential health services because we have a strong economy which underpins this investment.”
Queensland Shadow Health Minister Ros Bates said Labor cannot be trusted to manage the state’s health system or run the economy.
She urged Far North Queenslanders not to believe the local Labor candidates’ blatant health lies.
“She is a fraud, she is a phoney and she is a fake,” Ms Bates said.
“She has been asked numerous times to show where she is getting her figures from and she cannot, except to point to budget papers from more than three years ago, where there is no mention of the Cairns Hospital.
“Over the past three years the Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service have racked up deficits totalling more than $71.67 million meaning fewer services and longer wait times.
“Despite a massive FTE hiring spree by the Palaszczuk Government, 27 per cent of emergency department patients aren’t seen on time and 26 per cent of patients are ramped for longer than 30 minutes.”
Ms Bates, who is also a registered nurse, said the Palaszczuk Labor Government had also refused to sign up to the Commonwealth’s new five year funding agreement that would deliver an additional $8 billion for public hospitals across the state.
“Western Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory, Australian Capital Territory, South Australia, and New South Wales have all signed the new agreement,” she said.
“Why is the Queensland Labor Government denying Far North Queensland this vital funding?”