24 April, 2013
The Labor Party is making bizarre claims about the future employment of nurses and other health professionals in Tasmania as the Gillard Government becomes increasingly desperate to hold on to power.
Shadow Health Minister Peter Dutton said a flyer, authorised by Labor Senator Lin Thorp, was absurd, a waste of money and an insult to the voters of Tasmania.
The Coalition’s position on the GST is clear: we will not accept any proposal that disadvantages Tasmania. That didn’t stop Senator Thorp printing the hysterical claim that 94 percent of nurses in Tasmania will somehow lose their jobs.
If Senator Thorp had any interest in an accurate flyer, she should have said:
• The Labor-Greens Government in Tasmania slashed the number of full-time equivalent nurses by 8 percent and the number of doctors by 2 percent in the public system in just one year between 2011 and 2012 (Source: Department of Health and Human Services – Tasmania Annual Report, p 136).
• The Labor-Greens Government in Tasmania slashed funding for elective surgery and closed hospital beds, months after signing up to Federal Labor’s supposed health reforms (Source: The Mercury, Drastic elective surgery cuts, 5 October 2011).
• The Labor-Greens Government cut funding for elective surgery and frontline services when Tasmania had the longest waiting list at the 90th percentile (348 days) in 2011–12 for elective surgery
(Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Australian Hospital Statistics, p 14).
• While frontline services have been cut in Tasmania, Federal Labor increased the number of bureaucrats employed in Canberra’s Department of Health and Ageing and its agencies by 27 percent from 2007 to 2012.
“This is a Government whose record is riddled with lies and deceit on issues including the carbon tax, the private health insurance rebate and the promise of a surplus, so it’s no surprise they are making outrageously false claims in the lead up to this election.
“Tasmania’s health system is suffering under a bad Labor-Greens State Government and a chaotic Labor-Greens Federal Government and no amount of money Senator Thorp spends on ridiculous flyers will change that,” Mr Dutton said.
Media contact: Tom Fleming 0437 250 045