22 July 2011 The half billion dollar redevelopment of Royal Hobart Hospital would produce a “ghost’ hospital, Federal Shadow Health Minister Peter Dutton said today.
Mr Dutton was reacting to the emerging details of the Tasmanian Labor Government’s savage cuts to its health spending.
“This has to be a script from ‘Yes Minister’,” Mr Dutton said.
“The Federal and State Governments will spend hundreds of millions of dollars to redevelop Royal Hobart Hospital, but there’ll be no doctors or nurses to staff the wards. It’s absurd.”
Mr Dutton said the move was a political and personal attack on Independent MP Andrew Wilkie.
“Tasmanian Labor – perhaps at the bidding of Julia Gillard – is seeking to undermine Mr Wilkie who forced both governments to commit to rebuild Royal Hobart. Their actions are a direct betrayal of their agreement with Mr Wilkie.”
Mr Dutton said Health Minister Nicola Roxon must immediately state publicly whether the Federal Government funding of $340 million for Hobart Hospital would proceed and if so whether the Federal Government would be forced to inject more funding to cover the Budget cuts in Tasmania.
“A $100 million funding cut for health in Tasmania makes a mockery of everything Minister Roxon has stated,” Mr Dutton said.
“Announcing the Federal spending in April this year Ms Roxon said it would mean more beds, more services and better facilities at Royal Hobart Hospital – now we learn that the State Government is slashing operational costs which will mean fewer doctors, fewer nurses and fewer services.”
“It will be a disaster for health services across Tasmania,” Mr Dutton said.
He said Gillard Labor had promised to deliver better health services across Australia, but was failing miserably.
Millions after millions of extra dollars had been handed over to the incompetent Labor-Greens Government in Tasmania and it had clearly been wasted.