Health Minister, Michael Ferguson, is to be commended on the quality of the exposure draft of the White Paper on Health which he released yesterday, but if he believes real reform can be delivered without real dollars, he’s dreaming, Greens’ Health spokesperson, Cassy O’Connor MP, said today.
“The draft White Paper is grounded in a solid evidence base and presents the possibility of a safer, more equitable and less parochial public health system in Tasmania, but it is clear from the proposals put forward that it will also require significant state government investment.”
“Last year’s state Budget projected a $210 million cut to the Department of Health and Human Services budget over the four years, with 224 FTE staff cut from DHHS in this financial year and more to come. The first Abbott Budget carved $1.7 billion out of Tasmania’s health system over the next decade.”
“On those worrying numbers, real reform is out of reach.”
“The Minister needs to be supported by his Cabinet colleagues, and particularly Treasurer Gutwein, in reversing the unsustainable cuts to the Health budget and investing to achieve lasting reform that delivers the health system Tasmanians deserve.”
“If there is no funding allocated in the May state Budget to implement the reforms, along with a reversal of the cuts in Health, then real reform will be further delayed and this government’s commitment to delivering a safe, equitable health system will, regrettably, come into question,” Ms O’Connor said.