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PM to continue to press health case

Health reforms at risk under new state governments.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard says she will continue to press her case for health reforms despite the prospect of an agreement being threatened by new coalition state governments.

The federal government has signed an agreement with every state and territory leader, except Western Australia's Colin Barnett, which makes the commonwealth responsible for 60 per cent of public hospital funding.

In return the states and territories will surrender about a third of their GST take to Canberra.

With coalition governments likely in Victoria and NSW, the federal government's health reform agenda is at risk.

Gillard said she would continue to press her case whoever emerged as the premier of Victoria, following a state election on Saturday.

"I will say to them exactly what I say to other premier and chief minister - our reforms are about more doctors, more nurses, more hospital beds, more responsive emergency departments," she said.

Gillard said there was a simple mathematical equation to be considered by the premiers and chief ministers.

"We know that if states continue to carry the burden of predominantly paying for hospital costs, that if you fast-forward the clock that will take more than they earn in revenue.

"Simple maths ... requires reform and we are standing ready to deliver those reforms, including stepping up to 60 per cent of the hospital costs which now press on state governments."

NSW opposition health spokeswoman Jillian Skinner has said that if the coalition is elected at the March 2011, it would seek to renegotiate the national health and hospital reform agreement.

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