Safe patient care will suffer if the Abbott Government’s razor-gang goes ahead with savage cuts to healthcare spending predicted in the upcoming Budget, the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) has warned.
Federal Secretary Lee Thomas said the ANMF joined other health stakeholders in voicing concerns that cuts to health spending will dramatically impact on the quality of frontline services delivered to patients.
“Before the election, Mr Abbott promised the public there would be no cuts to health, yet an estimated $560 million is about to be stripped from federal funding for hospitals across Australia, with $200 million ripped from NSW alone,” Ms Thomas said today.
“Slashing this significant amount of funding will result in fewer and fewer hospitals beds and longer waiting times for surgery.
“It’s also going to compromise the level of care delivered to patients by nurses and midwives, who are working in already over-stretched hospitals.
“We dread to think what’s going to happen if the Government takes the axe to health spending and starts to meddle with Medicare by introducing a $6 co-payment for a visit to the GP.
“More and more people who can’t afford to pay to see a doctor will be forced to queue at the local hospital emergency department, struggling to cope with fewer and fewer resources.
“Ultimately, it’s patients and their families who will suffer.
“As a major stakeholder in health and aged care, the ANMF will be working hard to ensure that Mr Abbott listens to our concerns and commits to safe patient care for the sake of all Australians.”
The ANMF, with over 233,000 members, is the professional and industrial voice for nurses, midwives and assistants in nursing in Australia.