Your Gungahlin Voice

Full extent of federal health cuts revealed

Evidence from ACT Minister for Health Simon Corbell in Budget Estimates today revealed the full extent of the Commonwealth Government's health cuts on the ACT health system.

In May, the Federal Budget confirmed that the ACT would lose more than $600 million in long-term health funding.

Estimates committee members Meegan Fitzharris and Dr Chris Bourke said the impact would be even greater than they first thought.

“The impact of federal government health cuts on the ACT community has been made abundantly clear today.

“This is the single largest cut to health funding by a Commonwealth Government, with no explanation for people needing vital health care in our hospitals and community health clinics,” said Ms Fitzharris.

Dr Bourke said he hoped all members of the Assembly were now aware of the seriousness of these cuts to health funding.

“It’s clear the ACT community will lose from a plan that switches from activity-based funding of health services to population based funding.

“Unless the Commonwealth adjusts its funding formula, it will simply not meet demand,” said Dr Bourke.

Minister Corbell told the Budget Estimates Committee that population based funding was unfair and operated on the notion that every person uses health services equitably.

The Canberra Liberals have been trying to cover for their federal colleagues’ plan to cut the ACT health budget by $600 million over the next ten years.

Jeremy Hanson is the only Liberal leader in Australia who backs Tony Abbott’s cuts to health.

“I hope the Canberra Liberals readjust their thinking because this is a huge issue that even State Liberal premiers are concerned about,” said Ms Fitzharris.

“Only the ACT Labor Government will push for a fairer funding deal for the ACT when it comes to health,” said Dr Bourke.