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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 06 Hansard (Tuesday, 12 May 2015) . . Page.. 1599 ..

more is estimated to double. As people get older, they need more care—and they need more complex care and more occasions of care. No population-based funding model will address that.

In contrast, this Labor government has invested in more health services. Since 2001, we have increased expenditure by 195 per cent, to a budget of $1.3 billion annually. This increase in funding has enabled us to build a clinical workforce that meets the needs of our community. Over the period from 2001 to 2012, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s figures show we have added more than 500 doctors and over 1,200 more nurses to our healthcare system. Most of the costs in our health system are staff costs, the costs of the highly trained professionals who have made a career of supporting our community. It is this investment in growing our skilled health workforce that this government is most proud of.

We have also focused on improving capacity. While we have done more than anyone else to add to the public hospital bed stock—with us nudging 1,100 beds next year compared to just 670 when we were first elected—we are also fully aware of the need to make sure we manage demand. There is good evidence that many services can be provided outside a hospital environment. That is better for patients and better for our hospital system.

If we are to continue this work that gives our community not just more but better and more targeted services, we need to know that the commonwealth are a partner. So we need to see the commonwealth government come to the table. We need them to turn their position around. They need to make a commitment to stop the cuts to our public hospital and healthcare services. They need to reverse the position that does not guarantee funding for growth in activity in our public hospital services.

A well-funded health system provides care to people at the right time. A poorly resourced health sector leads to delays in access to treatment and care. This can have a major impact on our health and on economic productivity.

We need the commonwealth government to come to the table. $700 million less over the next decade in our public hospital and health systems cannot be sustained. It cannot be sustained by any ACT government budget. Whilst, as a jurisdiction, we have invested over $800 million over the past four to six years in improving public health infrastructure—whether it is new maternity service facilities, new cancer treatment facilities, new community health facilities, walk-in centres or expansions of our emergency department—we still need the commitment of the commonwealth.

The purpose of this motion today is to say that, on the eve of the federal budget, the commonwealth must act to reverse their cuts, totalling $700 million over 10 years, to our public hospital and health services. They need to take their hands off our public hospitals. They need to come back to the table and be a partner in supporting growth and funding in public health services, because that is what the people of Canberra expect. I commend the motion to the Assembly.

MR HANSON (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (11.40): I will start where the minister finished off—what is the purpose of this motion today? Clearly, the purpose

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