Public Hospital Patients Miss Out As Our Taxes Go To Private Health

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14th October 2009, 02:25pm - Views: 910

Government Political Doctors Reform Society 1 image


Tuesday, 13 October 2009


“Today’s release about the sorry state of our public hospitals should be a wake-up call to the

Federal Government,” said Dr Tim Woodruff, president, Doctors Reform Society. “Since

1997, the Federal Government’s contribution to government funding of public hospitals


fallen from 43 to 39%, whilst the State Governments have increased their contribution from

50% to 53% (traditionally a 50/50 share arrangement). That represents a federal shortfall of

$2-3 billion per year -

even allowing for the extra money the Federal Government has

provided in the last year. Such a shortfall leaves the States struggling to find funds to invest in

providing more hospital beds, and in staffing the beds that exist. In that same period the

taxpayer subsidised private hospital industry has increased its capital expenditure by 200%,

all courtesy of the inequitable Private Health Insurance rebate the Federal Government and

the Australian Medical Association continue to support.” 

“At the same time the federal government has underfunded aged care services, rationed

primary care by rationing doctor numbers and found an extra $3.4 billion annually to give to

the private health insurance funds, thus putting an enormous increased load on the states and

our public hospitals.”

“It’s no wonder that public hospitals and their emergency departments are overcrowded and

an amazing fact that, once into a public hospital, the care still remains of such high quality -

despite the funding, the low morale, and the shortages of staff; staff who are often next door

in the taxpayer funded private hospital caring for patients who are lucky enough to be able to

afford private health insurance.”

“It’s time the Rudd Government addressed the problems it, and previous federal

governments, have created,” said Dr Woodruff. “It's time the federal government started

giving genuine support and funding to our public hospitals – as well as turning their attention

to improving the way that funds are used. It’s 2 years now since the Rudd government

inherited the grossly underfunded public hospital system from the Howard government. It’s

surely time to fund public hospital properly before working out how to

impose conditions on

how States spend their money.”

Dr Tim Woodruff 

         Dr Con Costa 



         Vice President 


Doctors Reform Society

         Ph 0418400309 

Ph 0401042619

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