12 November 2010 The pathology sector of healthcare is looming as the Gillard Government’s next BER type scandal.
Shadow Health Minister Peter Dutton said the Gillard-Rudd Government’s actions in relation to pathology had made the sector unsustainable.
“Pathology is vital area of healthcare, unfortunately under Labor it’s now a train wreck waiting to happen.”
Mr Dutton’s comments follow the announcement today by Primary Healthcare that it will cut 290 jobs, mainly in its pathology division, and close 23 health-related facilities across three states. In its announcement Primary Healthcare blamed government funding cuts for pathology services for forcing a cost reduction program which led to the job losses.
“Nicola Roxon has cut funding for pathology services in two successive Budgets,” Mr Dutton said.
“She has also lifted the cap on the number of pathology collection centres across the country which has led to the opening of an additional 900 centres in a matter of months.”
“She has done all this while refusing to engage with the sector and hear its rational arguments about the damage her actions will do.”
“It is clearly not sustainable and the bad news from one major operator in healthcare today will not be the last.”
“The Gillard-Rudd-Roxon health polices are a disaster, which will become all too clear in the future.”
Mr Dutton said Primary Healthcare’s facility closures were mainly diagnostic imaging centres.
“Diagnostic imaging is equally under pressure from the policies of the Labor Government.”
“Health will be the next example of Labor’s waste and mismanagement, similar to the Building the Education Revolution program, where billions of dollars have been wasted.”
“Unfortunately in health it will mean job losses, facility closures, cost increases and fewer services for patients,” Mr Dutton said.
“That’s the sort of ‘reform’ Labor is bringing to health.”
Media contact – John Wiseman 0429 983 618