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25 February - Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, Mark Butler, has failed to provide any certainty for palliative care patients with the imminent cessation of funding for a range of services due in June 2013.

Palliative care patients are set to miss out as services across the country close with the withdrawal of the Federal funding.

Shadow Health Minister, Peter Dutton, said it is further proof that Labor’s priorities in health are all wrong.

"This is what happens when Labor spends money on bureaucrats and not beds.  Labor has built a dozen new bureaucracies in health and wasted billions elsewhere and now it won’t continue funding for vital services,” Mr Dutton said.

"Palliative care patients deserve respect and dignity.  As a nation, we should be affording support to these patients and their families.” 

Federal funding for palliative care, including community palliative care, under the National Partnership Agreement on Hospital and Health Workforce Reform will cease on 30 June 2013.

“This is a double-blow for palliative care patients and staff after $1.6 billion was withdrawn for public hospital services, including Labor’s notorious retrospective cuts this financial year,” Mr Dutton said.

Palliative Care Australia said in relation to just the hospital cuts, that it is ‘deeply concerned that the use of retrospective adjustments to funding levels announced through the National Health Reform Agreement has the potential to create an  immediate funding crises’.

“The Gillard Government has caused chaos for the health sector with retrospective funding cuts for public hospitals and now the cessation of funding for these palliative care services,” Mr Dutton said.

Media contact: Tom Fleming 0437 250 045

Posted in: Media Releases
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