Home | Industry & Reform | No confidence in TAS govt over health budget cuts

No confidence in TAS govt over health budget cuts

Criticism mounts over the Tasmanian government’s slashing of $60 million for elective surgery.

Independent MP Andrew Wilkie has slammed the Tasmanian government for its decision to slash its elective surgery budget.

The Tasmanian government will pull more than $60 million from elective surgery over the next three years, and up to 150 administrative workers will be sacked.

The state could lose hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding if it fails to meet waiting list targets in coming years.

Wilkie, who represents the Hobart-based seat of Denison, said he had lost confidence in the state government.

"No Australian government should default to cutting frontline health services just because their budget is in a hole," Wilkie told parliament last week.

"To do so demonstrates financial mismanagement, public health policy incompetence and a complete misunderstanding of the public interest.

"Moreover, it shows no concern for the hundreds of health and admin professionals set to lose their jobs or being in fear of doing so."

Wilkie said the state's financial situation was entirely the government's fault.

"Premier after premier, treasurer after treasurer, health minister after health minister have let us down and now the sick and most disadvantaged members of the community are set to pay the price," he said.

"This was avoidable and now is unforgivable. I condemn the lot of them on this matter."

Nurses at the North West Regional Hospital in Burnie will rally against the elective surgery cuts on October 24.

Meanwhile, Greens leader and Education Minister Nick McKim will meet with Opposition Leader Will Hodgman to discuss the Liberals' alternative budget.

Tasmanian Health Minister Michelle Byrne said the cuts would mean a reduction not a cessation in elective surgery.

“Elective surgery will continue and our hospitals will actively manage the waiting lists to ensure the right people are treated at the right time,” she said.


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