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Gillard's $1.6 billion cut to hospitals to hit Victorian cancer patients

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Media Release The Hon Peter Dutton MP

Shadow Minister for Health and Ageing Federal Member for Dickson

  21 January 2013

Gillard’s $1.6 billion cut to hospitals to hit Victorian cancer patients Federal Labor’s $1.6 billion cut to public hospital funding will force the closure of one in every six beds at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre it has been reported today.

The Gillard Government’s cuts, hidden in the Mid Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO), include retrospective cuts for the 2011-12 and 2012-13 financial years.

$107 million is to be clawed back across Victoria for funding that has already been spent or allocated by hospitals and health services, including the Peter Mac Centre.

Shadow Health Minister Peter Dutton again called on Federal Health Minister Tanya Plibersek and Treasurer Wayne Swan to explain why beds should be closed, elective surgery cut and a blow-out in waiting times when so much money has been wasted elsewhere.

“The bed closures at the Peter Mac Centre follow a litany of cuts to patient services at other hospitals and health services as a result of the Gillard Government’s retrospective clawback of funding.

“What makes these cuts all the more difficult is that the funding has already been spent. It completely throws hospitals’ planning and budgeting into disarray this financial year.

“This is a Government that has wasted billions and now patients are having beds closed and services cut because Mr Swan can’t balance the books,” Mr Dutton said.

It follows the Gillard Government’s recent slashing of funding for private health insurance of nearly $4 billion as well as nearly $1 billion a year cut from dental health through the closure of the Medicare Chronic Disease Dental Scheme.

Media contact: Tom Fleming 0437 250 045