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Health Pincer Movement Cuts Funding

4 May 2016

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Health spokesperson

Tasmania's hopes of extra health funding to make up for what we lost under Prime Minister Abbott haven't been realised. When it comes to the health spend in the Federal Budget we've been done over badly.

When Premier Hodgman went to Canberra in March he failed to win back the $156M his Canberra colleagues slashed from our health budget. The best he could get was an extra $54M over the next three years, which is nowhere near enough.

The combination of a Liberal State and Federal Government has left sick Tasmanians worse off. We are chronically underfunded in the area of public health.

Primary health care has been a big loser in this budget. Doctors have described the continued Medicare rebate freeze as the straw that will break the camel’s back, stretching practices and forcing them to pass on the shortfall to patients.

Essential services in regional areas will be $10M worse off next year, losing over a third of their projected funding. This doesn't bode well for Allied Health services in Southern Tasmania and on the East Coast.

The Budget confirms that the Turnbull Government won’t extend the $325M Tasmanian Health Assistance Package granted in the 2012 Budget.

We have an older and more chronically ill population than the rest of the country, as well as a Health Minister who hasn’t succeeded in securing an extension of funding that Tasmania obviously still needs.

Sick Tasmanians deserve better than they are getting from their State and Federal Liberal governments.