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Ferguson Hiding on Scarlet Alliance Funding

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Tags: Preventative Health, Health, Sex Workers

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Health spokesperson

The Minister for Health, Michael Ferguson, today claimed it was a Departmental decision to cut funding to Scarlet Alliance, and denied he had anything to do with it or there was any ideology involved.

He followed his denial to the Greens' questioning with a self-congratulatory answer, applauding his own work investing in health. 

Minister Ferguson is more than happy to be the Minister responsible when he's opening a new hospital ward or pharmacy, but he denies all responsibility when he's cutting funding to essential health services for vulnerable women.

Which one is it, is he Health Minister or not? 

The Minister repeatedly refused to meet the Scarlet Alliance to discuss their $61,000 service cut. A service that's provided education and outreach to sex workers for more than a decade. 

The so-called Health Minister hid behind his department, hollowly claiming it was all their decision. If that was the case, why would the Minister's office contact the Scarlet Alliance to tell them their $61,000 funding 'wasn't on their list of priorities'? 

Minister Ferguson seems more influenced by his ideology and conservative views than by his responsibilities to uphold Tasmania's national health commitments and protect the community from the spread of STIs and HIV.

What reason can he have for cutting the only service that protects sex workers, their clients and through them the wider community, other than his own ideology.