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Despite the $$ - hospitals worse

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Federal Member for Dickson

Shadow Minister for Health & Ageing Media Releases

Despite the $$ - hospitals worse

22 November 2010 The Gillard-Rudd Government’s failures in health continue to mount.

Today the Australasian College of Emergency Medicine’s annual scientific meeting was told there had been no significant improvement in access block in Australian hospitals.

The conference was told that access block - where a patient waits in emergency more than eight hours for admission to a hospital bed - was worsening nationwide this year.

Shadow Minister for Health Peter Dutton said the findings from the ACEM’s latest snapshot survey of Emergency Departments showed that just as State Labor Government’s had failed at managing health so too had the Federal Labor Government.

“Labor has poured hundreds of millions of dollars into health, yet it disappears into State Labor government black holes,” Mr Dutton said.

“This week we are told that access block is getting worse not better. Last week the AMA told us that rather than an additional 3,750 hospital beds that Kevin Rudd had promised by 2010 there were just 11 more beds in Australia’s 750 plus public hospitals than a year before.”

Also in this month alone we have learned that: § Health insurance take-up has slowed significantly § the $450 million diabetes treatment plan was shelved § the government back-flipped on mental health service cuts § a major healthcare company cut 290 jobs and 23 facilities § Victorian hospitals continue to ‘doctor’ patient numbers and treatment time data § NSW hospital managers systematically manipulate waiting list figures

“What happened to the $500 million in 2008 to relieve pressure on public hospitals? What happened to the $483 million in 2008-09 and 2009-10 to cut waiting lists and improve access to services? What’s happened to the endless amounts the Rudd-Gillard Government has thrown around?

“Remember the Rudd-Roxon-Gillard trio had promised to ‘fix’ hospitals by June last year. But every indication is things just get worse.”

Mr Dutton today repeated his call that no further federal funding should go to State Labor health departments until they guaranteed to freeze their health bureaucracies and ensure all spending went to frontline services.

“Health is headed in the same direction as the school halls debacle and the pink batts scandal with billions of dollars being wasted,” Mr Dutton warned.

Media contact - John Wiseman 07 3205 9977 - 0429 983 618