22 November 2012 In another desperate attempt to keep his leadership prospects alive and retain his seat of Griffith, Kevin Rudd will today give a speech about health and Queensland.
Shadow Minister for Health and Ageing, Peter Dutton, said that in the speech Mr Rudd should be honest about his own time in Government, both in Queensland and Federally.
"Mr Rudd said he would ‘fix’ public hospitals by mid 2009 - will he today make the claim he achieved this outcome?" Mr Dutton asked.
The COAG Reform Council recently found that ‘elective surgery waiting times have increased nationally from 2007–08 to 2010–11’.
"If Mr Rudd wants to talk about health funding, why did he support Mr Swan’s $1.6 billion cut to health in the Mid Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) only a couple of weeks ago? He hasn't uttered a word of those cuts, so his words today are a joke," Mr Dutton said.
"Doctors and nurses around the country will tell you Mr Rudd over-promised and under-delivered in the area of health. All the hospital visits in the white coat added up to very little tangible benefit to patients,” Mr Dutton said.
Mr Dutton suggested Mr Rudd should address a number of issues regarding his own actions in Queensland.
As Premier Goss' Director-General of the Cabinet Office, what advice did Mr Rudd offer Mr Goss when he took the decision to:
· sack about 4,500 public servants;
· close three operating theatres at the Royal Brisbane Hospital in November 1994;
· close three operating theatres at the Princess Alexandria Hospital in August 1994;
· close 2,200 State hospital beds;
· abolished the position of Chief Nurse; and
· cause waiting lists for general dental work to blow out to 2 to 3 years?
“If he disagreed with Mr Goss, why was Mr Rudd known as ‘Dr Death’?” Mr Dutton asked.
“As Prime Minister, Mr Rudd botched the opportunity to implement real health reform and it was left to Ms Gillard to clean up his mess and get the Premiers to put pen to paper, albeit still a business as usual model.
"End the blame game and stop the phoney wars Mr Rudd; own up to your own actions, mistakes and failings and perhaps your colleagues might entertain your never ending leadership ambitions,” Mr Dutton said.