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Howard ducks questions on Victorian hospitals.

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Media Release

Jenny Macklin, MP

Federal Member for Jagajaga

Shadow Minister for Health


31 August, 1999




Shadow Health Minister, Ms Jenny Macklin said the Prime Minister had washed his hands of the deplorabl e state of Victorian hospitals.


“The Prime Minister knows the public is very aware of how bad the situation has become. He knows that Jeff Kennett is fiercely opposed to Medicare and has led the calls for introduction of means testing of public hospitals.


“There is a crisis in the Victorian hospital system. Years of under-funding operations, cutbacks in capital works and a run down in morale have wrecked a once great hospital system.


“The Premier’s last minute funding promises lack credibility because the hospitals he promised in the last election have not been built. It is a carrot for electors, which has no credibility because of his record.


“The Victorian hospital system lags behind on every front:

·  Over $900 million has been cut from hospitals in the seven years since the Kennett Government came to office;

·  Expenditure on health services is 12% below the national average;

·  Six metropolitan hospitals and twelve country hospitals have been closed;

·  Five hospitals including the Austin & Repatriation Hospital, one of Victoria’s major teaching hospitals, are being privatised;

·  Over 10,000 hospital staff, including 3500 nurses, have been cut;

·  1,400 hospital beds have been closed;

·  In 1997/8, over 9,000 people waited more than twelve hours in emergency departments in metropolitan hospitals before being admitted;

·  Hospital waiting lists have increased by 20% to over 40,000 during the Kennett Government’s term of office;

·  Spending on hospital capital works was cut by over 40% in real terms and despite a pre-election spending surge is still 25% below the level in 1991.



For further information:

Andrew Herington; 0418 573 504

Jenny Macklin; 0419 593 622



md 1999-09-02  10:33