Queensland challenges Prime Minister to free up 600 public hospital beds

Minister for Health and Ambulance Services The Honourable Yvette D'Ath

The Palaszczuk Government is calling on Scott Morrison to fund almost 600 aged and disability care packages to free up much-needed Queensland hospital beds. Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said the Morrison government’s chronic underinvestment in aged and disability care was keeping 575 Queenslanders in public hospital beds when they’re better placed in more appropriate care settings. “The Morrison government’s latest budget has short-changed Queensland yet again, and it’s public hospital patients who are paying the price,” Ms D’Ath said. “There are currently 575 people in Queensland public hospital beds who should be on aged and disability care packages – but the Morrison government won’t fund these packages. “As he campaigns across the state, the Prime Minister needs to focus on delivering better health outcomes for Queenslanders instead of focusing on his own political future. “Just like every other state, Queensland public hospitals are experiencing unprecedented demand and this is being exacerbated by the Commonwealth’s unwillingness to properly fund public health services, along with aged and disability care. “These pressures aren’t unique to Queensland and are also being experienced in our largest states New South Wales and Victoria, who are also calling on the Morrison government to do far more to build capacity in our public hospitals. “The Australian Medical Association has also acknowledged the extent of the problem and it’s now time for the Prime Minister to act. “The 80,000 aged care packages promised by the Morrison government aren’t enough to meet existing demand, let alone free up the almost 600 public hospital beds currently taken up by older Queenslanders and those with disabilities. “Queensland is calling on the Morrison government to immediately fund aged and disability care packages for these 575 Queenslanders, which would significantly ease pressure on our busy public hospitals. “This is a litmus test for the Morrison Government’s commitment to properly funding public health services in Queensland. “More Commonwealth funding for public health services will be top of the agenda when National Cabinet next meets in June, but Scott Morrison doesn’t have to wait until then. “The Prime Minister can act now to immediately ensure Queensland gets the Commonwealth funding it so urgently needs.”

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