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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 6 Hansard (13 May) . .

Page.. 1703..


MR RATTENBURY: I reject the suggestion by Mr Wall. I think that the AMC meets very high standards when it comes to meeting its human rights objectives. I think it would be fair to say that the AMC has a very significant level of external scrutiny. There have been a significant number of external examinations of the AMC, and each of them, as is the nature of any review, has found areas for improvement. Those have been acted upon. I think there is a very strong culture in the AMC. There is a strong culture amongst the staff about being a human rights compliant jail. There is a strong culture of minimising the use of force. There is a strong culture of seeking to support the detainees to improve their lot in life. I think those are the sorts of things that are the measure of a jail. On those measures I am confident that the AMC is an outstanding facility and it is continuing to improve.

Federal government—budget

DR BOURKE: My question is to the Minister for Health. Minister, following Tuesday's commonwealth budget, what are the impacts on health service delivery in the ACT?

MR CORBELL: I thank Dr Bourke for his question. Regrettably, this year's federal Liberal government budget confirms that the ACT will continue to take a big hit when it comes to funding for our hospitals and healthcare services. This is happening now as the result of loss of funding guarantees promised in the national health reform agreement which the federal Liberals unilaterally walked away from—

Opposition members interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: Order!

MR CORBELL: in their unfair 2014-15 budget. This national health reform agreement was negotiated in good faith between all Liberal and Labor governments. But the federal Liberals have just torn it up. They again confirmed their decision, in their budget last night, to rip $57 billion from public hospital services across Australia, affecting all states and territories, including the ACT. They have done nothing in their latest budget to rectify these massive cuts to our local hospitals.

Last night's budget confirms their plans to move away from activity-based funding for our public hospital system to population-based specific purpose payment funding from 2017-18. The analysis undertaken by the government to date shows that this will rip hundreds of millions of dollars out of the health budget over the next decade. The number, in fact, is staggering: over $600 million of revenue forgone that would have otherwise been provided, based on projections around growth and activity and the commitments entered into by the commonwealth when they signed up to the national health partnership agreement.

Hundreds of millions of dollars pays for a lot of hospital services. This federal Liberal government is ripping hundreds of millions of dollars off Canberra's health services, which will now have to be dealt with by the ACT government budget. This is clearly not sustainable. We will need to consider how we prioritise hospital services or consider other options.


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