Report Confirms Liberals’ Broken Beds Promise
New figures released today confirm that the former Liberal Government failed to deliver on its promise to add 800 hospital beds to the health system over their term of government.
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s Hospital Resources 2013-14: Australian Hospital Statistics report shows that there were 13,474 acute beds in Victoria 2010-11 and 13,583 in 2013-14, an increase of just 109 beds.
After more than $1 billion in cuts to health under the former Liberal Government, Victorians are waiting too long for emergency treatment and elective surgery.
That’s why the Andrews Labor Government has invested an extra $1.38 billion for hospitals, ambulances and health programs in the 2015-16 Victorian Budget.
This increased funding will enable hospitals to admit an extra 60,000 patients and treat an extra 40,000 patients in emergency departments each year.
The Budget also includes $200 million for a Hospital Beds Rescue Fund to open 101 beds and points of care across the state, in line with the findings of the review undertaken by respected surgeon and former AMA Victoria President Dr Doug Travis.
Victoria’s public hospitals are facing increased pressure, with the Abbott Government locking in $17.7 billion in cuts over the next decade in its recent Federal Budget.
This is despite promising before the last federal election that there would be no cuts to health.
The Labor Government wants to work with the Federal Government to ensure a sustainable funding model for public hospitals.
However, any reform of health funding must ensure the Commonwealth funds its fair share, and must reverse the $17.7 billion in cuts they’ve imposed on Victoria’s public hospitals.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Health, Jill Hennessy
“Unless the Liberals funded 691 new beds in 2014-15 – which we have found no evidence of – it’s fair to say they absolutely broke their promise to Victorians.”
“Our massive boost in funding will enable hospitals to increase capacity, treat more patients sooner and reduce elective surgery waits and waiting times in emergency departments.”
“The Abbott Government’s $17.7 billion cuts to our public hospitals over the next decade will see Victorians waiting even longer for treatment in emergency departments and on elective surgery waiting lists.”
“It is simply not acceptable for the Federal Government to walk away from funding its fair share of our public hospitals.”