Heathcote Health to feel pain of cuts

April 18, 2018

Lisa Chesters MP and member for northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes at Heathcote Health.

HEATHCOTE Health will lose $40,000 in funding in the federal government’s most recent round of funding cuts.

Federal member for Bendigo Lisa Chesters has condemned the decision, which will see central Victorian hospitals almost $5.6 million worse off over the next three years.

And every hospital in the Bendigo electorate will be worse off.

Bendigo Hospital will lose $4.89 million, Castlemaine Health $430,000, Maldon Hospital $20,000, Kyneton Hospital $170,000 and Heathcote Health $40,000.

Ms Chesters said the enormity of the cuts will deeply affect central Victorian hospitals.

“What we are seeing here is another attack on our local hospitals by the Turnbull government. They are asking the states and territories to find money they do not have or be forced to close hospital beds, put off infrastructure upgrades and sack frontline health workers,” Ms Chesters said.

“This decision from the federal government is cutting hundreds of millions out of Australia’s public hospitals from 2017-2020; with the Bendigo electorate’s cut of $5.6 million equivalent to 1527 cataract surgeries, 211 knee replacements or eight full-time doctors over the three years.”

Ms Chesters said the latest round of funding cuts show the federal government isn’t holding up its end of the bargain.

“These devastating cuts by Malcolm Turnbull show his real priorities — that he is happy to give big business a tax handout but won’t properly fund Bendigo’s public hospitals and give locals the health care they need,” she said.

“Public hospital funding should be an equal partnership between state and federal governments but this federal Liberal government is not paying its fair share.

“Access to health care should be determined by your Medicare card — not your credit card. But while Turnbull prioritises defending big business and siding with the private health insurers our public hospitals will continue to be put last.

“Our community isn’t going to our public hospitals because they want something to do — they’re there because they desperately need health care.”

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