Victoria's hospitals and health services will be feeling the pain again this week as the next dose of bad medicine from the Federal Government's health funding cuts hits their bank accounts, Health Minister David Davis said today.
(Media-Newswire.com) - Victoria's hospitals and health services will be feeling the pain again this week as the next dose of bad medicine from the Federal Government's health funding cuts hits their bank accounts, Health Minister David Davis said today.
"Today Canberra's monthly contribution lands in the account of Victoria's health funding pool, and for the second month in a row we have been short-changed by $15.3 million," Mr Davis said.
"Under the National Health Agreement it is Victoria's responsibility to then distribute the money to our hospitals, but there is less to go around.
"That's $15.3 million less that our hospitals will receive in January, and every other month until the end of June.
"That's $107 million less in total over the current financial year, as part of a $475 million Federal Government cash grab over four years."
Mr Davis said Canberra tried to justify its funding ripoff by claiming that Victoria needed fewer services because of a population decrease, saying there were 11,000 fewer people living in Victoria than there were a year earlier.
"However, the Federal Government's very own Commonwealth Statistician caught it out and produced figures to confirm that Victoria's population grew by 75,400 people in 2011," Mr Davis said.
"Anyone who has seen new suburbs growing virtually overnight in our outer metropolitan growth areas will acknowledge the absurdity of the claim that our population has dropped.
"Our population hasn't dropped – but our hospital services are dropping as a result of these savage and heartless cuts.
"When Canberra announced its funding cuts and refused to back down, I asked Hospital Board Chairs to work with their CEOs to develop plans to deal with the reduction.
"I asked them to protect services where possible – but they're telling me this is fast becoming Mission Impossible.
"Wards and beds are already closing as a result of the Federal funding cuts, and hospitals are working on plans to determine which staff they have to let go.
"Surgery lists are already being cut back, and the impact will show up in future months as more and more patients wait longer and longer for elective surgery.
"I acknowledge that times are tough economically, but the Federal Government should not be doing a fiddle with its books at the expense of Victorian patients," Mr Davis said.
"The Victorian Coalition Government has increased funding to Victorian health services by $1.3 billion since we came to office in 2010, and in the current year we have put a record $13.7 billion into health.
"Canberra needs to be doing the same and pulling its weight with funding for our health system, instead of slugging our patients with funding cuts," Mr Davis said.
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