Westmead Hospital could lose up to $650 million in federal funding over the next decade

The Greens candidate for Parramatta, Phil Bradley today said “The Parramatta Greens condemn the changes made to Federal-State funding arrangements in the 2014 Federal Coalition’s budget, which saw $57 billion axed from local hospitals over the next decade. The Turnbull government’s recent budget restored only $2.9 billion of these cuts. Based on this, figures provided by the Parliamentary Budget Office and hospital bed figures provided by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, an estimate has been made that Westmead Hospital could lose up to $650 million in federal funding over the next decade. This is roughly the equivalent of 400 hospital beds, or 700 nurses, or 400 doctors’ salaries each year!”

“On the other hand, The Greens support phasing out the Private Health Insurance Rebate. This will return more than $50 billion over the next decade for reinvestment directly  in the public health system.  This would fund the growth in hospital costs for well over a decade and allow for a greater investment in primary care, including dental care and other allied health services. The savings would also support lower patient to nurse ratios in all hospital units throughout NSW, especially in intensive care units.”

Mr Bradley added “As the Greens candidate for Parramatta, I will work with Greens MPs for these ratios to be made mandatory in the nurses’ Award. Ratios should also be extended to the community health system. There is plenty of well researched evidence that improved ratios not only save thousands of lives, but also lead to better heath outcomes and save overall health system costs.”

Medicare must also be protected with dental and mental health services included in it.

“The Greens see health as an investment, not a cost. Ensuring that our health system will always be accessible, affordable and universal is our priority because patients must be at the heart of the system. By closing  major tax loopholes for the rich we can then invest much of the savings in healthcare, so that we can take advantage of new life-enhancing treatments,  improve access to health services and reduce out-of-pocket costs.”

“Last week, the Greens also announced an amazing new mental health policy which based on population, would mean at least $300 million additional funding for mental health over the next four years for NSW. This will provide better support of the mental health and wellbeing of NSW people, including in Parramatta with a renewed focus on primary care,” Mr Bradley added.

For more information, please contact Phil Bradley Greens Candidate for Parramatta  on 0425 265 170.