Member for Gembrook Brad Battin joined Liberal candidate for La Trobe, Jason Wood today to launch a petition calling on the Federal Labor Government to restore the full amount of funding it has ripped from Victorian hospitals.
“While I welcome the news the Prime Minister had abandoned her decision to cut $107 million from hospitals this financial year, Labor has not agreed to reinstate the $368 million it will take from the Victorian hospital system after 1 July,” Mr Battin said.
“In January Local Labor MP Laura Smyth was telling local papers the cuts are ‘nonsense’ – yet the funding cuts are clearly outlined in Treasury documents, and states across Australia have vocally criticised the Commonwealth for the cuts to their health budgets.
“This Prime Minister has bowed to community pressure for the short term, but hospitals need the $368 million still owing to them.
“The Prime Minister has also said that she plans to take the $107 million to be put back into the health system this year from other Victorian programs.
“Federal Labor is punishing us for standing up for the rights of hospitals and patients in our communities. The Prime Minister has singled Victoria out and is subjecting residents to these punitive measures.
“Laura Smyth must stand up for residents and tell the Prime Minister to withdraw her threat to penalise the community by taking funding from other programs.”
Mr Battin said the decision to put $107 million back into the health system came after the Canberra claimed that Victoria needed fewer services because of a population decrease.
“The Prime Minister claimed there were 11,000 fewer people living in Victoria than there were a year earlier, however the Commonwealth’s own statistician confirmed that Victoria’s population grew by 75,400 people in 2011,” Mr Battin said.
To sign the petition, visit Brad Battin’s office at Suite 5/6-8 Langmore Lane, Berwick.