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$18M Cut Hidden in Health Budget


Rosalie Woodruff MP

Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Tags: Health, State Budget, Hospitals

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Health spokesperson

Tasmanian hospitals will receive an $18.5M cut in 2016/17. Health Minister Michael Ferguson's only response was to accuse the Greens of lying when he was confronted with this in Parliament today.

Minister Ferguson is claiming a record Health spend, but the Budget tells a different story. The Liberals were forced to patch up last Budget's under-spend, and they haven't learned last year's lesson.

The Budget Papers confirm that the Tasmanian Health Service needed a $30.9M funding injection in 2015/16. The THS budget for 2015/16 is what was targeted, not what was actually spent.

Minister Ferguson has used tricky accounting and spin to pretend there’ll be an increase in funding in 2016/17.

In truth, the Minister is expecting our hospitals to spend $18.5M less next year, and he's refusing to cover wage or material cost increases.

In real terms, when wages, drugs and basic equipment price increases are accounted for, this will mean an actual $50M cut to health service delivery.

Minister Ferguson took office with a promise to fix the "broken health system" and aspirations for Tasmanians to have the best health in the country by 2025. Despite his so-called vision, all he's provided to hospitals has been a series of cuts hidden in Budget Papers.