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Plibersek contradicts VIC health minister on funding

Minister for Health Tanya Plibersek has just announced that funding for Victorian hospitals will be increased in the next year.

According to Plibersek, funding for hospitals in Victoria will receive an additional $230 million for the year 2013-14. She also said that from its funding of $3.4 billion in 2013-14, funding will increase to $4.6 billion in 2016-17, and the total yearly contribution of the Commonwealth to Victorian hospitals will amount to $1.2 billion.

In a recent statement, Plibersek contradicted statements from Victorian health minister David Davis regarding Commonwealth funding, and said that Victorian health has suffered due to Davis’ “woeful” performance.

Plibersek reported that tens of thousands of Victorian patients have been added to the elective surgery waiting list, and is now equivalent to around 50,000 patients under the administration of Davis.

A decline in meeting the targets has also been demonstrated in the Victorian emergency departments, with only 65 per cent of emergency patients being cared for within four hours in 2012.

The baseline goal for 2010 is 65.9 per cent, while the goal for 2012 is 70 per cent.

There has also been reported errors in the ambulance staff, as there are increasing cases of inability to transfer patients immediately, causing patients to wait longer for the care they need.

Another area of concern for Victorian hospitals is the promised hospital beds which have not yet been delivered.

The health minister further called on her Victorian counterpart to stop making inaccurate claims regarding the Commonwealth, and said that Davis should admit that he had just cut $209 million from his health budget, which, Plibersek said, made his total funding cuts equivalent to $826 million.

“Mr Davis has poorly managed millions of dollars the Commonwealth has given Victoria specifically to improve elective surgery and emergency department performance, putting patient safety at risk,” Plibersek said.

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