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A mixed bag health Budget.

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A Mixed Bag Health Budget Catholic Health Australia, the largest provider grouping of non government health services claimed the Federal Health Budget lacked comprehensive attention to the country's health pressure spots.

'Despite a welcomed increase in regional health initiatives, the budget continued to fall behind the real costs of public hospitals, and community health services, particularly palliative and mental health care.' CHA's Executive Director Francis Sullivan said.

'The budget has not adequately indexed public hospitals for the rising costs associated with the ageing population, medical technology and increased demand on services.'

'The real demand pressures on palliative care, mental health and community based health services have been disregarded in this budget.'

'Furthermore, the Government's compensation package for its changes to employees FBT entitlements is grossly inadequate. This will result in cuts to take home pay of up to 10 per cent for nurses and doctors in public and not-for-profit hospitals.'

'It is pleasing to see the Government recognise the necessity to assist non government hospitals in regional Australia. The lack of support for medicare provider numbers for doctors working in private emergency services is a glaring omission.'

'The Government has not responded to the strains on families who care for the sick at home or for those who require long term institutional care for chronic and degenerative conditions. '

'The assumptions underpinning the MBS and PBS clawback are dubious and could result in the introduction of further fees for consumers.'

9 May 2000

Catholic Health Australia PO Box 57 RED HILL ACT 2603

Contact: Francis Sullivan Ph: 02 6239 7633 Fax: 02 6239 7634 Mobile: 0418 486 440 Email: