Health ministers for Australia’s eight states and territories on Tuesday asked immediate additional funding from the federal government to inject more resources into public hospitals as the country reopens:
“All states and territories need immediate additional funding from the Commonwealth to support the pressures currently on our health care systems.”
However, Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt tell states increase funding for their hospitals to deal with an increase in COVID cases:
Health Minister Greg Hunt said it was up to states and territories to increase funding if they felt their hospitals were not up to the challenge, arguing that the Commonwealth had increased spending by 71% in recent years …
“We believe Queensland hospitals are well prepared based on the commitments, advice and information they have given,” he said.
“There is constant scrutiny, however, that’s exactly what we do with every element of COVID – constant scrutiny to make sure anything that can be improved is being done.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison also accused Queensland of extortion:
“I mean, come down to that point and say ‘well, you know I’m going to demand a ransom from the federal government and seek to extort money from them on the basis of Covid’, I just don’t think it is. the right way forward, ” Mr. Morrison said.
Omar Khorshid, President of the Australian Medical Association (AMA) yesterday supported State and Territory Governments Call for Increased Funding for Public Hospitals:
“We are not at all confident about the state of our public hospitals” over the next few months.
“That’s why we’ve been making these calls for several months saying we need to prepare, that we can’t magically build more hospitals or have more staff, but there are things that can be done to prepare, ”he said. The ABC afternoon briefings, warning against elective surgery and elective care “will come out the window as soon as we start seeing cases of Covid in Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory or WA ”…
“What WADA is asking now is that both levels of government recognize that every state and territory is in crisis with its public hospitals” …
“In every state and territory, public hospitals were overwhelmed before Covid, and of course we are seeing the impact of Covid in NSW and Victoria right now, in addition to the already huge demand on public hospitals …
“Now we can play a blame game, but at the end of the day we need more money in the industry, we need to correct the long term underinvestment that has been a reality for decades now, and WADA calls on governments to work together, rather than blaming each other for who spends enough money and who does not.
Oddly enough, the Morrison government will be happy to give billions to companies with growing profits without any strings attached, and donate money for overpriced parking lots and land. But is money for hospitals and community health during a pandemic somehow extortion?
Does Scott Morrison want states to open up or not? Or does he only care to enrich his donors?
Decades of hospital underinvestment, combined with rapid population growth due to immigration, have left Australia dangerously exposed to deal with the pandemic. The federal government must stop passing the buck and increase funding.