Budget Rips Another $2B from Health – Labor
Wednesday, 13th May 2015 at 11:51 am
The Federal Budget has cut a further $2 billion from health funding forcing front-line NFPs to close their doors, according to the Federal Labor Opposition.
Shadow Minister for Health Catherine King said the Abbott Government appears determined to inflict even more pain and chaos on a health sector already reeling from last year’s cuts.
“Despite Tony Abbott’s solemn election promise of “no cuts to health” he has now cut around $60 billion since he was elected,” King said.
“Close to $1 billion will be cut from programs that fund measures such as preventative health care, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, mental health and other crucial health programs.
“Literally thousands of organisations around the country that do vital work caring for Australia’s most at risk and vulnerable people will be left reeling from this assault on their core funding.
“The scale of these cuts means many organisations will be forced to close their doors, while others will have to cut back on staff and services.”
According to Labor the Budget has also cut:
$125 million from the Child Dental Benefits Schedule
$144.6m cut from the MBS including halving the amount paid for child health assessments
$69.6m cut to DVA dental and allied health payments
$214.1 million from eHealth with not a single dollar allocated beyond 2018
$252.2 million from PBS listed drugs
$72.5m cut to health workforce scholarships
“In addition to these new cuts the Budget does nothing to reverse the $1.3 billion increase to the price of medicines; the millions of dollars being added to out of pocket costs through unfair changes to the Medicare Safety Nets; or the indexation freeze on GP fees that will attack Medicare and will have an even greater impact than the initial proposal for a GP Tax,” King said.
Health Minister Susan Ley said the Budget attempts to address the cost pressures outlined for Health in the 2015 Intergenerational Report, through responsible economic management, and investments to improve productivity and efficiency, while maintaining frontline services.
“By reviewing key financing mechanisms, streamlining bureaucracy and administration, and reducing waste and duplication across the Health portfolio, we will provide better health and wellbeing for all Australians now and for future generations,” Ley said.
The Federal Budget papers on health can be found HERE