LEICHHARDT MP Warren Entsch has described Labor’s ongoing hospital funding campaign as a “scaremongering stunt” that is unnecessarily worrying patients and the community.
“Today we’ve got the ‘Catherine and Jan’ show hitting town to again spread misinformation about ‘cuts’ to local hospitals in the North,” Mr Entsch said.
“To be frank, I’m a bit tired of seeing the ads on TV and letters to the editor repeating the same false facts, and I’m sure it’s causing unwarranted stress for people in the community let alone for patients themselves.
“One look at the Budget papers will show you that funding to hospitals in Queensland is growing by 39.9 per cent over the next four years, from $2.73 billion in 2013-14 to $3.83 billion in 2017-18.
“Despite Labor’s mismanagement of the health system in Australia, we’ve retained bulk billing and we’re ensuring the health system remains sustainable in the decades ahead.”
Mr Entsch said that while the Budget faces up to some tough challenges, the following facts remain.
Over the four years to 2017-18 the Government will:
· Increase overall health spending by around $14 billion (or 16 per cent);
· Increase funding for public hospitals by more than $5 billion (or 36 per cent);
· Increase Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme funding by around $1 billion (or 11 per cent); and
· Increase Medicare Benefits Schedule funding by over $3 billion (or 19 per cent).
Mr Entsch added that it was “hypocritical” for an Opposition Spokeswoman for Health, Catherine King, and a local Senator, Jan McLucas, to be grandstanding about health issues given their history with the Tuberculosis crisis on our border.
“I pleaded with Labor to listen and act as this issue emerged from 2010 but to no avail,” Mr Entsch said.
“Now we find out that the information they based all their decisions on was totally flawed, and the millions of aid dollars spent in the region have not resulted in outcomes.
“Catherine and Jan might also like to explain why Labor so badly bungled the Medicare Locals programme.
“At the end of the day, the best thing they can do when it comes to health is to step away and let us fix Labor’s mess.”