Pressure is building on Scott Morrison and the Federal Liberals to reverse their latest round of savage cuts to Victoria’s health system.
Scott Morrison recently shifted the goal posts and announced changes to the funding formula that determines how much Canberra pays our hospitals for services they have provided. The new formula would see Victorian hospitals face a $201 million cut for treatment provided over the past three years.
Angry states and territories have rallied against the Liberals’ cuts – and have set Mr Morrison an ultimatum: reverse the dud deal in the next fortnight, or the matter will be formally referred to COAG under the dispute resolution mechanism of the National Health Reform Agreement.
Mr Morrison’s proposed annual cuts are the equivalent of the total yearly operating budget of Sale or Horsham hospitals, or 12,000 hip replacements, more than 180,000 chemotherapy treatments, or 390,000 dialysis procedures.
Scott Morrison has form when it comes to cuts from Victorian hospitals. When he was Treasurer, he interfered with an agreed activity-based funding model that ensured the Commonwealth paid its share.
Mr Morrison’s audit meant that services were retrospectively ‘regraded’ and hospitals received less funding from the Commonwealth for services they had already provided, ultimately slashing $104 million from Victoria’s health service.
Cuts to health are in the Liberals’ DNA. They cut, close and privatise whenever they get the chance, leaving patients worse off.
The Victorian Liberals cut a billion dollars from health when they were last in office, and Matthew Guy is cheering from the sidelines as Scott Morrison threatens to short change Victorian doctors, nurses and patients once more.
As noted by Minister for Health Jill Hennessy
“Our hard-working hospitals have provided the treatment and care for Victorians, but Scott Morrison won’t pay the bill. He’s not holding up his end of the bargain – it’s not fair and it’s not on.”
“The states and territories are standing up to the Federal Liberal Government’s cuts – Scott Morrison needs to keep their hands off our hospitals.”
“The Federal Liberals have two weeks to reverse their cuts to our hospitals. Otherwise we’ll take action so that our hospitals get what they deserve.”