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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 06 Hansard (Tuesday, 12 May 2015) . . Page.. 1608 ..

commonwealth budget went much further than that. The commonwealth themselves know that once they revert to a population and indexation-based system to support public hospital services, the commonwealth budget will be $57 billion better off over a decade, carved out of health funding. As the minister announced last week, our preliminary estimate, based on modelled activity and price growth, would see a $700 million gap over the decade from 2017-18. We can only close this gap by cutting other services or raising taxes.

But we have a Liberal opposition that says nothing. Even while their interstate colleagues raise major concerns about their ability to manage the savage cuts in commonwealth funding for public hospital services, those opposite say nothing. I ask Mr Hanson and his team to come clean with the people of the ACT and let us know what they are going to do to manage the savage cuts faced across Australia by the commonwealth’s decision to slash funding for public hospital services. I implore all members today to join with us and vote to endorse this motion that will send a message to those across the lake that their position on public hospital funding is not good enough. Let us all condemn the commonwealth’s position on the funding of public hospital services, and let them know that all ACT parliamentarians, all 17 members, demand a well-funded health and hospital system and that they should reinstate the collaborative approach to hospital funding agreed in 2011.

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (12.11): I welcome the opportunity to talk about health funding today because I think this is a question that is of interest not only to all of us in this place but also to our constituents. I guess the question is: why do we need a well-funded health system, as Mr Corbell touches on in the first part of his motion? I think we could frame this discussion another way and still achieve the same outcome by asking: what are the costs to society if we do not fund the health system adequately?

As we all know, the burdens on the health system and the resources needed to support it are increasing. There can be no doubt that the system is struggling to respond to these increased demands in all areas. Community, acute and chronic health statistics regularly show us that these areas are under pressure.

But when the Greens talk to the health system, we are talking to a much bigger picture than just the hospital. We believe it includes mental health and justice health, maternity services and aged care services. We are talking to the full scope of the health system that includes the new ACT primary health network, the home and community care services, the walk-in centres and the outpatient clinics. These are many areas that are not frequently reported on or debated here in the chamber.

All of these pieces of the puzzle need to be considered as parts making up a whole. The coordination between these allied health services is essential to ensure that the finite resources that are available are being used as effectively as possible. This goes even further, in my mind, to the health promotion activities of both the ACT Health branch responsible and the non-government sector, including Sexual Health and Family Planning Australia, the Cancer Council and many others.

What I am getting at is that I believe too often the debates around health funding are targeted at the acute end of presentations. There is in fact a much larger and more

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