17 March 2010 Kevin Rudd’s so-called health reforms threaten hundreds of regional hospitals.
Research for the NSW Government indicates that any hospital with ten or fewer beds or those that have unpredictable workloads would face closure under Mr Rudd’s plan for case-mix funding announced recently.
Shadow Minister for Health Peter Dutton said people in regional Australia should be extremely concerned about the Rudd Government’s ‘reforms’.
“Mr Rudd’s proposals are extremely sketchy. He has provided little detail and therefore the future of regional and rural hospitals remains in doubt under his plans.”
M Dutton said Labor’s plan to fund hospitals through an activity-based system jeopardised all smaller institutions.
“They just don’t have the through-put of patients to survive on activity-based funding,” Mr Dutton said.
Up to 209 hospitals, or almost a third of the nation’s hospitals, could be impacted by the Rudd plans according to an analysis of the report in The Australian.
Mr Dutton called on the Rudd Labor Government to reveal its funding plans for regional hospitals and to indicate which hospitals may be downgraded or closed under its latest proposals.
“Mr Rudd promised to fix hospitals by mid-2009. His fix in 2010 is to threaten their existence,” Mr Dutton said.
Media contact – John Wiseman 07 3205 9977 – 0429 983 618