2015 Budget fails to restore $57 billion of funding for public hospitals

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

2015 Budget fails to restore $57 billion of funding for public hospitals

 

The 2015 Budget has failed to address the unprecedented cuts to public hospitals funding made by the Commonwealth Government last year.

“In the 2014 Budget, the Government rescinded $57 billion in funding that was to go to the States and Territories to fund essential hospital services, and that had been agreed through bipartisan negotiations,” says Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA) Chief Executive, Alison Verhoeven.

“With that decision, the Government also walked away from activity-based funding based on efficient hospital pricing and unilaterally withdrew from long negotiated agreements between all governments on how the public hospital system needs to be funded.

The Government has repeatedly recognised through its own White Paper processes to reform the Federation and to reform the tax system that the States and Territories do not have the capacity to replace this funding.

“The Government knows that the States and Territories do not have the capacity to raise an extra $57 billion through their own taxes,” says Ms Verhoeven. “The Government has explicitly recognised that funding of essential services such as public hospitals must be funded with reasonable contributions from the Commonwealth.

“The Commonwealth Government’s intransigence on this $57 billion of funding for public hospitals can only produce bad health outcomes for all Australians,” says Ms Verhoeven.

“The failure to honour hospital funding agreements and return public hospital funding to a sustainable position in tonight’s Budget calls into question the sincerity with which the Commonwealth intends to approach the July COAG leaders’ retreat on funding for health and education.

“The sustainability of public hospitals and consistent health policy should not be compromised just so the Commonwealth Government can be seen to be repairing its own balance sheet,” says Ms Verhoeven.

 

The AHHA represents Australia’s largest group of health care providers in public hospitals, community and primary health sectors and advocates for universal high quality healthcare to benefit the whole community.

Media enquiries:

Alison Verhoeven, AHHA Chief Executive

0403 282 501