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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 5 Hansard (7 May) . .

Page.. 1508..


Health—federal spending cuts

DR BOURKE: My question is to the Minister for Health. Minister, what has been the impact of commonwealth spending cuts to health services in the ACT?

MR CORBELL: I thank Dr Bourke for his question. Regrettably, it is the case that the ACT health budget, and the ACT budget as a whole, has been significantly impacted by the decision of the federal Liberal government, in last year's budget, to arbitrarily walk away from the national health partnership agreement. According to the commonwealth's own figures, moving back to the previous funding model—the specific purpose payment approach based on population, not on activity—equals across Australia $57 billion less for hospitals and health services; $57 billion less over the next 10 years than that previously committed by the commonwealth to the states and territories.

Opposition members interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: Order!

MR CORBELL: Based on the modelling undertaken by ACT Health, this means for ACT hospitals and health services the equivalent of $700 million less over the next 10 years. Those were the commitments made by the—

Mr Hanson interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: Order, Mr Hanson!

MR CORBELL: federal government and those commitments have been arbitrarily voided—

Mr Coe interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: Order, Mr Coe!

MR CORBELL: by the federal Treasurer, Mr Hockey, and by the Prime Minister, Mr Abbott. There will be $700 million less over the next 10 years for our hospitals and health services. As a Labor government, we recognise the importance of maintaining and improving resourcing for our public hospital and health services. So we as a government have made the decision that we will go ahead with our planned improvements and enhancements in the current financial year. However, if the commonwealth—

Mr Hanson interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: Order!

MR CORBELL: refuses to accept its obligations through these partnership agreements or fails to come up with a new model in next week's federal budget, then we clearly are going to have to look very closely at the health budget and the sustainability of health funding. That is the case here and right across the country.


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