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National Health and Hospitals Agreement

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News Release

Sharon Bird MP

Federal Member for Cunningham Telephone: 02 4228 5899

National Health and Hospitals Agreement

More doctors, nurses, beds in local hospitals and aged care facilities in the Illawarra ensuring better patient care are the result of the agreement between the Commonwealth and State Governments, Federal Member for Cunningham, Sharon Bird, said today.

“The agreement by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) in Canberra yesterday afternoon is historic reform in the nation’s health system.

“Much needed funding from the Commonwealth Government, following the COAG agreement, will start from 1 July 2010 to provide:

� 1300 new sub-acute hospital beds � 2500 additional aged care beds � Capping waiting times in emergency departments at four hours � Delivering elective surgery on time � Providing over 6000 new doctors � Helping 20,000 extra young people get access to mental health services � Co-ordinated care for patients with diabetes in general practice � Commonwealth responsibility for aged care, and � Commonwealth responsibility for primary health care.

“The Commonwealth Government, following the COAG agreement, will become the dominant funder of our local public hospitals, including funding 60 percent of building, equipment, teaching, training and services.

“Local Hospital Networks will also be established ensuring hard working doctors and nurses have more say in the way local hospitals are run and managed”, Ms Bird said.

The COAG agreement follows the investment of $14.1 million to enhance cancer care services at the Illawarra Cancer Care Centre at Wollongong Hospital, announced by the Prime Minister during a visit to Wollongong on 16 April 2010.

The Commonwealth Government has also invested over $400,000 in Wollongong Hospital to reduce elective surgery waiting lists.

21 April 2010