21 February 2018

Gold Coast healthcare under threat from Commonwealth

Paradise City Medical Centre
Paradise City Medical Centre Surfers Paradise

The Gold Coast could lose $97 million in health services following a Federal Government decision to refuse funding it owes to Queensland hospitals.
Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services Steven Miles said $97 million translated into over 17,700 fewer surgeries and other hospital admissions for sick people across the Gold Coast.
“This is a savage attack on healthcare on the Gold Coast,” Mr Miles said.
“We’re not talking about arguments over future funding – this is about Canberra paying for services already delivered at Gold Coast University Hospital and Robina Hospital.”
Mr Miles said the independent health funding umpire had ruled the Commonwealth owes Queensland hundreds of millions of dollars for healthcare provided as far back as 2014.
“Worse, the amount owing is accumulating – meaning Queenslanders are $979 million worse off over four years because of Canberra’s refusal to pay its fair share,” Mr Miles said.
“You wouldn’t contract someone to build you a house, and then refuse to pay the bill once you had moved into your new home.
“This is the same situation, except we’re talking about healthcare and the lives of thousands of Queenslanders.
“I’m asking for help – from politicians on all sides, from health professionals, from stakeholders – to encourage the Federal Government to meet its commitments.
“Ninety-seven million dollars buys a lot of healthcare.
“And it’s things that matter to people, day-in, day-out.”
The $97 million Gold Coast component of Canberra’s health bill equals:
  • 1,496 cataracts and lens procedures
  • 763 hernia repairs,
  • 737 hip or knee operations,
  • A total of 17,724 medical procedures
Member for Gaven Meaghan Scanlon said Gold Coast residents deserved better from the Turnbull Government.
“The Federal Government’s failure to reimburse the Gold Coast for hundreds of patients already treated is not only unfair, it places future health funding for our region at risk,” Ms Scanlon said.
“Gold Coast University Hospital is now the busiest emergency department in Australia, so this funding shortfall could have disastrous affects in the future.”
“The Federal Government needs to pay their debt - pay up or continue to put at risk the treatment of thousands of Gold Coasters.”
Mr Miles said Queensland Health has worked hard to ensure no one has been disadvantaged while waiting for Canberra to pay its bills.
“But this is not sustainable,” Mr Miles said.
“If Canberra refuses to pay its fair share our hospitals will be forced to reduce health services they could otherwise deliver.
“Canberra’s cuts will see people on the Gold Coast receiving fewer treatments and waiting longer for it.”

Attribution: Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services The Honourable Steven Miles

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