House debates

Thursday, 4 April 2019

Questions without Notice


3:00 pm

Photo of Ms Catherine KingMs Catherine King (Ballarat, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Health and Medicare) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Prime Minister. Why didn't the Prime Minister use his budget to reverse his government's billion dollar cuts to hospitals, including the $1 million cut to Bega's South East Regional Hospital in Eden-Monaro, the $1 million cut to the Gladstone Hospital in Flynn, the $1.7 million cut to the Shoalhaven District Memorial Hospital in Gilmore, the $2 million cut to the Launceston General Hospital in Bass, the $2.8 million cut to the St John of God Midland Public Hospital in Hasluck, the $2.9 million cut to the Caboolture Hospital in Longman, the $7.9 million cut— (Time expired)

Photo of Tony SmithTony Smith (Speaker) Share this | | Hansard source

The Prime Minister has the call.

An honourable member interjecting

No, there was a question at the start. The Minister for Health.

Photo of Greg HuntGreg Hunt (Flinders, Liberal Party, Minister for Health) Share this | | Hansard source

I'm delighted that in this budget the government has set out record funding for hospitals. Do you know what, Mr Speaker? That funding is up from less than $13½ billion—it was $13.3 billion—under Labor to $23 billion, $24 billion, $25 billion and $26 billion in this budget. Over the course of this budget, that is a near-doubling of the funding that Labor provided.

In essence, Labor cannot tell the truth. That is because they're ashamed of their own record. We have the man in the red tie, the Leader of the Opposition, over there. What was his greatest health achievement? He stopped the medicines. That is something for which he should apologise tonight. This is his time to shine. This is his time to fess up. This is his time to apologise for stopping the medicines. Around Australia, we will see record funding for hospitals each and every year, which can only come about when you have a strong economy—an economy built on well over a million new jobs, an economy built on paying down the government's budget and bringing it back to surplus, an economy which comes from the hard work of Australians who have been empowered by a lower tax regime. That allows us to do things such as setting out record funding for Medicare, record funding for hospitals and record numbers of new listings.

In particular, I just happened to have come into my hands a statement from the 2011 budget, which stated:

Vital lifesaving medicines are being shelved by the Federal Government …

This was the federal government of the day and that was from the Consumer Health Forum. What did they say about the 2011 budget? They said:

Affordable medicines and vaccines that save and prolong lives are being denied to some of the most vulnerable chronically ill Australians by a short-sighted decision by the Government to disregard the recommendations of PBAC. Consumers fear a backlog of medicines caught in the Cabinet process as more and more necessary medicines face indefinite deferral.

In the end, Labor are health frauds. Labor are medi-frauds, and we are medi-friends that list the new medicines.