Media Releases

Get the latest news

MEDIA RELEASE - TURNBULL’S HEALTH CUTS HURTING TOWNSVILLE - 17TH APRIL 2018

April 17, 2018

THE HON CATHERINE KING MP

SHADOW MINISTER FOR HEALTH AND MEDICARE

MEMBER FOR BALLARAT

 

CATHY O’TOOLE MP

MEMBER FOR TOWNSVILLE

 

TURNBULL’S HEALTH CUTS HURTING TOWNSVILLE

Patients in Townsville are struggling to access basic health care, with Malcolm Turnbull and the LNP cutting millions from Townsville Hospital and Medicare.

 

Shadow Minister for Health and Medicare Catherine King and Member for Herbert Cathy O’Toole today visited Townsville Hospital and The Women’s Centre and met with local GPs to hear about the impact of the cuts.

 

Turnbull is cutting $9 million from Townsville Hospital between now and 2020, as part of a massive $160 million cut to Queensland hospitals.

 

These cuts will make it harder for locals to access essential services, with the cut to Townsville Hospital alone equivalent to:

  • 4 beds;
  • 12 doctors;
  • 25 nurses;
  • Over 13,000 emergency department visits; or
  • Almost 22,000 outpatient appointments.

 

These cuts come on top of Turnbull’s refusal to pay Townsville Hospital and other Queensland hospitals for services they have already delivered. While Turnbull has now paid his bill for 2015-16 – almost two years late – the Queensland Government has revealed that Turnbull still owes $700 million for 2016-17.

 

At the same time, the LNP’s Medicare freeze is cutting $2.2 billion from Medicare over the next four years – on top of the billions in savings the LNP has already banked.


As a result, patients in Herbert now pay an average out-of-pocket fee of more than $35 to see a GP. This cost is unaffordable for many local people, with more than 6,000 people estimated to delay or avoid seeing their GP each year.

 

Almost 11,000 more people in Herbert skip seeing specialists due to cost, with average out-of-pocket fees of more than $75 – and much higher for many patients.

 

While patients are struggling to afford basic health care, Malcolm Turnbull and the LNP are so out-of-touch that they are yet to lift any part of their Medicare freeze. Rebates for GPs, specialists and allied health services all remain frozen, and the freeze won’t be fully lifted until 2020.

 

Whether it’s making Medicare more expensive or cutting public hospitals - Turnbull and the LNP can never be trusted on health.  

 

Labor created Medicare, and only Labor will ensure that people in Townsville can access the health care they deserve.

 

TUESDAY, 17 APRIL 2018

WE'LL PUT PEOPLE FIRST