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TURNBULL’S $11 MILLION CUT TO TAS PUBLIC HOSPITALS - Media Release, Wednesday 21 March 2018

Surgeries will be delayed, nurse and doctor numbers will decline and emergency department wait times will increase as a result of Malcolm Turnbull’s $11 million cut to public hospitals in Tasmania from 2017-2020.

Turnbull’s $11 million cut to Tasmania’s public hospitals is equivalent to:

  • 16,000 emergency department visits
  • 3,055 cataract extractions
  • 1,825 births

It says it all about Turnbull’s priorities that he is happy to give big business a tax handout but won’t properly fund our public hospitals and give Tasmanians the health care they need.

In 2016-17, Tasmania’s emergency departments saw a record number of people, with 156,000 presentations.

Tasmanians aren’t going to our public hospitals because they want something to do – they are there because they desperately need health care to get back on their feet.

They’re people waiting for hip surgery, knee replacements, and dealing with life-threatening health issues.

When you or your loved one is sick, the last thing you need is to be turned away because your local hospital doesn’t have enough staff or beds to give you the care you need.

Every dollar cut from our public hospitals is a dollar cut from our sickest and most vulnerable patients.

Access to health care should be determined by your Medicare card – not your credit card. But while Turnbull’s prioritises defending big business and siding with the private health insurers Tasmania’s public hospitals continue to be put last.

Turnbull is happy to give big business $65 billion – but he can’t find a fraction of that to properly fund our public hospitals in the next three years.

Labor created Medicare, we will always fight to protect Medicare and we will fight Turnbull’s cuts to Tasmanian hospitals.

Additional statistics:

  • In 2016–17, there were 7.8 million presentations to Australia’s public hospital emergency departments—an average of more than 21,000 presentations each day. In Tasmania there were 156,000 presentations in 2016-17 – an average of 427 each day.
  • There are 8,045 more presentations to Tasmania’s emergency departments a year than before the Federal Liberals were elected.
  • 13.8% of Australians will visit an emergency department every year – that’s around 72,400 people in Tasmania.
  • Patients presenting to emergency departments requiring urgent medical attention are being left in emergency departments for longer, with only 57 per cent of Tasmania’s urgent emergency department patients in 2016-17 seen within the recommended 30 minutes.
  • More than 50 percent of public hospital doctors are working unsafe hours that put them at significant risk of fatigue – including 75% of intensive care specialists, with the Australian Medical Association saying “the strain and the pressure on our public hospitals is having a detrimental impact on the health of our doctors."
MEDIA CONTACTS: TAIMUS WERNER-GIBBINGS 0429 820 344

Authorised by Noah Carrol ALP Hobart