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Plibersek robs other states to pay Tasmania

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The Hon Peter Dutton MP  Federal Member for Dickson  Shadow Minister for Health and Ageing

Wednesday 20 June 2012

Plibersek robs other states to pay Tasmania

Federal Health Minister Tanya Plibersek will cut health funding to other states to cover the mismanagement of her Labor-Greens colleagues in Tasmania.

The Tasmanian Labor-Greens government has recently ripped $430 million from health. On the 15 June 2012, Minister Plibersek announced $325 million in federal funding because “the state’s health system was struggling and urgent action was required to get it back on track”.

Yesterday the Minister admitted to the Parliament that the $325 million “emergency rescue” of Tasmania’s health system will require funds to be reallocated from within the Department of Health and Ageing budget.

The Minister declined to detail where she would find the ‘new’ money. Junior Minister Mark Butler then revealed that he and Ms Plibersek don’t know.

“I think that the Minister for Health has been clear that we are going to have to find money for that,” Mr Butler said.

The Shadow Minister for Health and Ageing, Peter Dutton, has acknowledged Tasmania’s dire need because of Labor-Greens mismanagement but wants related cuts detailed.

“The Labor-Greens Tasmanian Government has crippled Tasmania’s health system, but Minister Plibersek should not cripple other states. The Minister must detail the cuts,” Mr Dutton said.

Mr Dutton has also questioned the Minister using snail paced measures for an emergency package.

“It is quite unclear why an ‘emergency rescue package’ should need to include $36.8 million for “testing” of the Patient Controlled Electronic Health Record in the public hospital system,” Mr Dutton said.

“Or why almost $54 million would be required train more specialists and nurses. Surely this is a long term priority, not something that will assist patients immediately to address the health crisis in Tasmania,” Mr Dutton said.

“Nor is it clear how $42 million for “innovation in health services”, including establishing a Virtual Health Sciences Precinct, will provide urgently needed patient services to Tasmanians,” Mr Dutton said.

“This Federal bail-out of the Tasmanian Labor-Greens mismanaged health system has every potential to reduce patient services across the remainder of Australia,” Mr Dutton said.


Media contact: Kenneth King - 0437 436 780 or (07) 3205 9977