$6.5 MILLION will be cut from Cairns Base Hospital’s 2011-12/2012-13 budget as part of the Gillard Government’s attempt to achieve a surplus by ripping $1.6 billion from hospitals around the country.
And much-needed rural services in Cape York and the Torres Strait/Northern Peninsula will also suffer, each hospital losing $900,000 worth of funding over the same period.
Local Federal MP Warren Entsch said he was “extremely disappointed” by the cuts, especially given that people in regional and remote areas already find it difficult to access the health services they need.
“These reckless cuts by Labor are a threat to elective surgery and other important local health services,” he said.
Mr Entsch said the Government’s dodgy use of population figures to justify the retrospective claw-backs and ongoing cuts proved that Labor can’t be trusted.
“I know the managers of our health services and all our local health professionals work hard to provide quality care for locals, within their budget. They don’t expect the Government to pull the rug out from underneath them mid-year.”
Mr Entsch said he believed the ‘cooked books’ approach was motivated by Labor’s obsession with achieving a surplus in an election year, by whatever means necessary.
“It’s clear that the Gillard Government cares only about its re-election and nothing for the health of people in Cairns and the Far North,” he added.
Gillard Government health cuts:
· $2.8 billion cut by means testing of private health insurance rebates.
· $700 million cut by not paying the rebate on private health insurance increases above CPI.
· $390 million cut by completely removing rebates from Lifetime Health Cover loading.
· Over $1 billion robbed in dividends from Medibank, that should have been putting downward pressure on premiums.
· Another $1 billion cut from dental health by abandoning chronically ill patients to public lists.
· Hundreds of millions in multiple cuts to the Medicare Safety Net, including obstetrics and IVF.
· Limiting new medicines onto the PBS by politicising the process.
· $1.6 billion cut from health payments to the States and Territories.