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Buck stops with Kevin Rudd on outstanding health service bills.

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Media Contact: Greg Pierce 02 66 52 62 33 0408 532 785 Canberra: 62 77 4447

Luke Hartsuyker MP Federal Member for Cowper


February 1, 2009

Buck stops with Kevin Rudd on outstanding health service bills

Kevin Rudd must take full responsibility for the North Coast Area Health Service’s failure to pay it bills on time, Federal MP Luke Hartsuyker said today.

A report in today’s Sunday Telegraph highlights how the North Coast Area Health Service is taking months to pay an outstanding account with Coffs Harbour printing business Mid Coast Printing.

Mid Coast Printing prints vital temperature charts, pregnancy care and patient admission forms for Coffs Harbour Hospital.

Mr Hartsuyker said this issue must be addressed by the Prime Minister as a matter of urgency.

“Kevin Rudd told the Australian people that the buck stops with him on the health system,

“Well Mr Rudd now needs to deliver on that commitment and ensure hospitals pay their bills on time and local services are not placed at risk.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our local economies and if a large government run institution such as the North Coast Area Health Service fails to pay its bills on time then it places local jobs at risk.

“At a time when Mr Rudd talks about economic stimulus packages, the very least he could do is ensure that bills are settled on time.

“The New South Wales health system is in crisis and we have yet to see Mr Rudd do anything to fix the problem. Once again he is strong on rhetoric and weak on action,” Mr Hartsuyker said.

“After promising the Australian people so much, Kevin Rudd is presiding over a health system which does not pay its bills and is sacking medical staff at a time when more are actually required.

“It’s another classic case of Labor in Government. Look not at what they say but rather what they do,” Mr Hartsuyker said.