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Politicians talk cuts

Quotes from health portfolio holders on both sides of politics:

Lawrence Springborg, Queensland Health Minister, on Queensland health cuts:
• “We are about revitalising front-line services and I’m very confident that these changes will not impact on front-line services, anything other than a positive impact.”
• “Queenslanders do not judge our health system by its size, but by health services delivered effectively, efficiently, with care and on time.”
• “We have new technologies, greater workplace flexibility and modern management, but valuing staff also means taking personal charge of the tough decisions.”
• “This government acknowledges the impact of these changes at the personal level, but it stands by its decision and the need for fundamental change, which is long overdue.”

Andrew McDonald, NSW Labor health spokesman, on the proposal that patients may be sent home early due to budget cuts:
• “Slashing $3 billion from NSW hospitals will mean fewer beds, longer waiting times and compromised patient care. As someone who has 39 years’ experience working in the NSW health system, I know these funding cuts will cause absolute chaos in our hospitals.”

David Davis, Victorian Health Minister, on health cuts due to a suggested population decrease:
• “Seizing on one data set to try to massage down what the Commonwealth is due to pay is not the way to go. Victorian patients will be the losers. Our hospitals and health services will have money stripped from them by the Commonwealth deciding not to pay up on its obligations. Most Victorians know that the population is increasing and know that there are more houses that are being built, more people coming into the state. That means the health funding should have increased in the predictable way.”

Tanya Plibersek, federal Health Minister, on health cuts:
• “I can tell you that we will have to find money across government, including in the health portfolio, in the mid-year economic forecast. Of course, I will have to find further savings in health, and so will every other portfolio.”

John Hill, SA Health Minister, on grants funding:
• “Health will be undertaking a full review of grants, and will work as closely as possible with the non-government organisations to make sure there’s no duplication of effort and that criteria for funding [are] equally applied to all the organisations.”

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