A Note From Judith

In Question Time I asked Premier Napthine whether he supports Tony Abbott’s decision to close 330 beds across Victoria and 30 beds at Casey Hospital from July 1.

The response I received was underwhelming and smacked of a Government that is completely out of touch with what people in Casey need and deserve.

Napthine is spending $447 million for new prison beds but only $222 million on hospital beds across Victoria – zero new beds for Casey. Where are Napthine’s priorities?

Napthine has cut $831 million from the health system and Abbott has cut $129 million this year with more cuts to follow.

By 2017 Victoria will lose at least $1 billion in federal health funding.

Add to these cuts the $7 tax on going to the doctor, getting tests and seeing specialists.

The Australian Medical Association’s president, Associate Professor Brian Owler, said in relation to Napthine’s Budget:

Surgery waiting lists continue to grow, ambulances are ramped, hospitals are on bypass, there are not enough hospital beds and today’s budget fails to adequately consider the increasing growth in demand.

The elective surgery waiting list at Casey is huge with 2298 people currently on the waiting list –shockingly only 55% of category 2 patients are being treated within 90 days.

If you are sick and need to see a doctor, you will have to pay a new tax.

If you are sick and need to go to the hospital you will have to wait longer than ever before for treatment.

If you are sick and need surgery, the waiting list is terribly long.

I think the message from Napthine and Abbott for the people of Casey is: Don’t get sick and don’t fall on hard times – you’re on your own!

Casey deserves a government that will stand up to Abbott – Napthine has proven he won’t.

Only an Andrews Labor Government gives Casey families any chance of better health care.

Unlike the Napthine and Abbott Governments, Labor is putting people first.