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14 July 2011 Victorian communities that have funded their own Bush Nursing Hospitals will be slugged with huge new bills under Julia Gillard’s carbon tax.

The Shadow Minister for Health and Ageing Peter Dutton said today the carbon tax could eventually lead to the loss of some services in these crucial health facilities.

As Victorian Health Minister David Davis today announced funding of $2 million for a state-of-the-art redevelopment of the Ballan Bush Nursing Hospital in rural Victoria, he said early assessments were that the small health facility faced an immediate impost of $10,000 in higher electricity costs under Labor’s carbon tax.

Visiting the hospital with the Minister, Mr Dutton said communities like Ballan had contributed significantly to provide such facilities for more than a century, but would now be hit with unexpected costs that would harm their viability.

“This toxic tax will weave its way through every aspect of health care like cancer,” Mr Dutton said.

“Small community funded not-for-profit facilities will find Julia Gillard’s tax on the energy needed to run a hospital particularly hard to deal with,” he said.

Mr Dutton said the carbon tax would make health care more expensive and less accessible.

It would cost the States - in healthcare alone – tens of millions of dollars with no compensation.

“The health system is already stretched. If it’s slugged with huge additional costs, what will happen? The unfortunate answer is that fees will have to rise or services will have to be cut.”

The Shadow Minister said it was clear the Gillard Government had given no thought to the impact of its new tax on the health system – the result would be that patients would suffer yet again.


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