Abbott Government must restore health funding

In the lead-up to the 2015 Budget, the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) is calling on the Abbott Government to restore over $50 billion ripped from the public health system.

ANMF Federal Secretary, Lee Thomas, said evidence given to the Senate Select Committee on Health shows how the funding cuts are impacting the quantity and quality of care being delivered to hospitals across the country.

“What’s clear is that the Government cannot expect to slash a massive $50 billion from the States and Territories’ health budgets without seeing dramatic repercussions, such as fewer hospitals beds and longer surgery waiting times,” Ms Thomas said today.

“The level of care delivered to patients by nurses and midwives will also be compromised as a result of this massive reduction in public health funding and that is a huge concern to the ANMF and our members.

“Last year, the Government claimed there was a Budget emergency, but Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) data, in fact shows that national spending on health goods and services grew by 1.5 per cent in 2012-13. This is the lowest since the mid-80’s.

“On top of this, Australians already experience one of the highest out of pocket costs ($1075 per year) for healthcare in the world.

“For these reasons, the Government must restore health funding in the upcoming Budget as a matter of urgency. Otherwise it will be patients and their families who will ultimately suffer.”

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