MEDIA RELEASE – NAPTHINE ALLOWS WAITING SURGERY LIST TO HIT 55,000

22 March 2013

Hospital funding agreements show the Napthine Government’s management of the health system is forcing more people to wait longer for the care they need in Victoria, Jane Garrett MP State Member for Brunswick said today.

Ms Garrett said the Statement of Priorities, contracts between Victorian health services and the State Government, showed that an unprecedented 55,000 people would be waiting for surgery by June this year.

“As a result of this Government’s $616 million cuts to the health system, hospitals will be forced to add more people to the elective surgery waiting list than ever before,” Ms Garrett said.

“This is going to have an impact at the Melbourne Health and Royal Women’s Hospital, where the waiting list has blown out by 53.6% and 35.9% respectively.

“This means by June this year, 4467 additional people will be waiting – often in pain – for surgery.

“These contracts show a litany of mismanagement by the Napthine Government of the Victoria’s health system.

“The sad fact is these contracts show that across Victoria, 125 people have been added to the elective surgery waiting list in each and every week since the Coalition has been in Government.”

Ms Garrett said the expected blow out in the elective surgery waiting list came on top of hospital performance data released in February five months late, detailing a system struggling to cope.

“Ambulances are backed up at hospital doors and people are waiting longer in emergency departments,” Ms Garrett said.

“What this all shows is that the system was in crisis well before the Victorian Coalition Government started its fight with the Federal Government and the pain will continue well into this year.

“Health Minister Davis is keen to write the struggling system off as the Federal Government’s fault, but these documents categorically show his claims to be false and misleading.

“Mr Napthine and Mr Davis cannot deny that the $616 million health cuts are hurting Victorians.

“These stunning figures back up what health insiders have been saying for a long time – that things have never been as bad as they are under the Coalition.”

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