15 February - The ratio of hospital beds for older Australians has deteriorated, the proportion of administration staff has increased and there has been no improvement in emergency department and elective surgery waiting times according to the latest results reflecting Labor’s health reforms.
Shadow Health Minister, Peter Dutton, said today’s release of the AMA’s Public Hospital Report Card 2013 reinforces Labor’s record of over-promising and under-delivering on health and hospitals.
“Each day there is more evidence that the Labor Government has failed to honour its promises and meet its own benchmarks.” Mr Dutton said.
Specifically, the report found:
· ‘The reforms haven’t stopped the blame game and funding reductions’.
· ‘..the dream of health reform that began in 2007 has not been realised’.
· ‘In 2010-11, there were only 18.9 hospital beds for every 1,000 people over the age of 65 – a decrease of 1.6 per cent since 2009-10’.
· In 2011-12, 64 per cent of all emergency department visits were completed in four hours or less, well short of the 90 per cent target to be achieved by the end of 2015’.
· “..the number of administrative staff as a percentage of total public hospital staff has actually increased’.
“Labor’s Leader in exile, Kevin Rudd, famously promised to ‘fix’ public hospitals by mid-2009, that the buck would stop with him and that he would end the blame game.
“Julia Gillard tinkered with Mr Rudd’s supposed reforms before re-announcing them as her own and declaring that ‘the buck stops with me for delivering the health reforms that we have promised’.
“Julia Gillard supposedly brought her negotiating skills to the mining tax and health reform and the results now speak for themselves,” Mr Dutton said.
The situation is likely to further deteriorate for public hospital patients. The Labor Government has cut $1.6 billion from public hospital funding in MYEFO and nearly $4 billion is to be slashed from private health insurance, driving up costs for ordinary Australians and pushing a greater burden onto the public system.
However, since coming to office, the Labor Government has managed to establish around a dozen new bureaucracies at a cost of nearly $1 billion.
“Labor’s priorities of building more bureaucracy, driving up private health costs for Australian families and retrospectively cutting funding for public hospitals are wrong. No wonder Labor has failed to deliver on so many promises on health and hospitals,” Mr Dutton said.
Media contact: Tom Fleming 0437 250 045