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Govt Warned Against Expected Hospital Funding Cuts

“Nurses And Doctors Warn Government Against Expected Hospital Funding Cuts”

Nurses and senior doctors are warning the Government against cutting public hospitals funding, as expected in this month’s Budget. In their first-ever joint national media statement the president of the Nurses Organisation Diane Penney and the president of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists Dr Peter Roberts said a four per cent increase in funding was needed.

“This is simply to keep up with inflation, population growth and increased acute admissions. We understand any increase is likely to be closer to one percent. In real terms this would amount to a major cut to public hospitals that are already experiencing increased deficits and major strains on providing patient care,” Penney and Roberts said.

Public hospitals were seriously damaged in the 1990s under the former Government’s combination of an ideological market experiment and underfunding. “To its credit this Government ended the foolish experiment and increased baseline funding a little last year. But these initial improvements will be seriously threatened and undermined if it proceeds with the expected funding cuts,” they said.

Senior doctors and nurses had struggled for years to maintain quality patient services in an unstable and difficult environment. Their efforts deserved positive recognition rather than risking kicking them in the teeth by undermining their ability to maintain standards of care.

Instead of eroding funding the Government should be financially committed to rebuilding the capacity of public hospitals to provide the services the public needed, deserved and had paid for through their taxes.

“Health cuts don’t heal. The Government recognised this when in Opposition and should not forget it now it controls the Treasury benches. Those who ignore history are condemned to repeat it,” Penney and Roberts said.

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