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AMA: now time for billions on beds.



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Australian Medical Association Limited ABN 37 008 426 793

42 Macquarie Street, Barton ACT 2600: PO Box 6090, Kingston ACT 2604 Telephone: (02) 6270 5400 Facsimile (02) 6270 5499 Website : http://www.ama.com.au/

AMA: NOW TIME FOR BILLIONS ON BEDS

AMA President, Dr Rosanna Capolingua, today welcomed a $5 billion injection of funds for hospital equipment and infrastructure, and urged the Government to make a similar commitment to funding more hospital beds.

“This is a huge, much-needed boost to hospital funding, and a great catch-up for hospitals and emergency departments around the nation,” Dr Capolingua said.

“New equipment and upgraded emergency departments are absolutely necessary.

“But unfortunately it’s not much use having new equipment if you’ve still got patients in pain, waiting in corridors on stretchers because there aren’t enough beds to go around.”

The AMA has repeatedly called on COAG to commit at least $3 billion to funding 3,750 new public hospital beds and the staff and infrastructure to service them.

“We need thousands more beds in Australia’s hospitals, or the emergency department blockages are not going to go away,” Dr Capolingua said.

“This is an urgent problem. It needs an immediate solution.

“The Government has shown this week that it is capable of making a big short-term commitment to the nation’s public health system - now let’s see that commitment extend to ensuring every patient is able to get a bed in a ward when he or she needs it.”

23 October 2008

CONTACT: Kirk Coningham 02 6270 5477 / 0417 142 467 Kylie Walker 02 6270 5471 / 0405 229 152