Wednesday, 28 March 2018
In the last financial year there were 7.8 million presentations to public hospital emergency departments across Australia, an average of 21,000 presentations each day. One of my sons and I contributed to that tally—and I'll just do a shout-out to Julia Dreyfus and the VEEP staff and crew! But, thanks to the wonderful service provided at my local public hospital, we were given the care that we needed. We were patched up and sent back home.
Obviously, that's what all Australians expect, but our public hospitals can't continue to give that great service if their funding is ripped away from them. Already, more than 50 per cent of public hospital doctors are working unsafe hours that put them at significant risk of fatigue, and fatigue means that they can make poor decisions. The Australian Medical Association has said:
The strain and the pressure on our public hospitals is having a detrimental impact on the health of our doctors.
This out-of-touch Turnbull government seems to not care about the health of Australians. This out-of-touch Turnbull government seems to not care about the health of our doctors. This out-of-touch Turnbull government seems to not care about protecting our health system. It is ripping $160 million out of Queensland's public hospitals, which is the equivalent of 240,000 emergency department visits, or 44,000 cataract extractions, or 6,150 knee replacements, or 26,500 births, so this will affect every Queenslander. The next time Queenslanders are cradling their child in an emergency ward, soothing their distressed sobs and wiping their fevered brow, that child will have to wait longer to receive the health care they need.
For people living on Brisbane's south side—and I see the member for Oxley here—in my electorate of Moreton, the hospitals that service the needs of their families will have their funding slashed by this uncaring Turnbull government. The QEII Jubilee Hospital will suffer a funding cut of more than $3 million. The Princess Alexandra Hospital will endure a funding cut of more than $13 million. The Mater Hospital will be burdened with a funding cut of more than $4 million. The Mater Mothers' Hospital will have to brave a funding cut of more than $2 million. The Lady Cilento Children's Hospital, the major specialist children's hospital for Queensland, will have to sustain a funding cut of more than $6 million.
When Queenslanders are sick and have to wait longer for, or be turned away from receiving, the health care they need, I'm sure they will not be thanking this out-of-touch Turnbull government for cutting the funding to our hospitals while giving big business, banks and multinationals, a $65 billion tax giveaway. Every dollar cut from Queensland's hospitals is a dollar cut from our sickest and most vulnerable patients. The Turnbull government is tripping over itself to give big business $65 billion but can't find a fraction of that to properly fund the south side's public hospitals for the next three years.
Labor created Medicare. We'll always fight to protect Medicare. We'll fight this out-of-touch and inept Turnbull government's cuts to hospitals.