Casey Hospital: funding

Ms GRALEY (Narre Warren South) — My adjournment matter this evening is for the attention of the Minister for Health and it concerns Casey Hospital in my electorate. The action I seek is that the minister honestly commit to provide funding for additional beds at Casey Hospital.

The Baillieu government, and now the Napthine government, promised to fix health, reduce elective surgery waiting times, open 800 new hospital beds and improve access to the health system for all Victorians. Yet here we are, two and a half years later, and not one of these promises has been kept. Today the Leader of the Opposition said that today’s
budget has put Dr Napthine’s election war chest above the needs of patients in
Victoria — and how very true that is.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reported that there were 36 fewer hospital beds in Victoria after the coalition government’s first full year, when it had promised to deliver 100 extra beds by that time. This neglect has had devastating results for our hospitals and those patients will be desperately seeking treatment.

The latest hospital performance report for Casey Hospital shows that only 43 per cent of semi-urgent surgery patients are treated in the required time; almost one in three emergency patients are not being treated within the required time; the hospital failed to meet its target for treating non-urgent patients within a year; patients arriving at the
hospital in 6 out of every 10 ambulances are waiting longer than 40 minutes to be transferred, forcing ambulances to ramp outside; and the number of people waiting for surgery is 2024, which is up from the December 2010 statistics. Since the state election there has been a 10 per cent increase in the elective surgery waiting list.

The neglect and deteriorating services must end. I am constantly contacted by distraught local residents as they languish in pain and discomfort on growing waiting lists. I have seen firsthand their tears and anger as those who need urgent treatment are forced to wait with often conflicting advice on when they may receive treatment.

Residents in the Narre Warren South electorate deserve better. The electorate is in the middle of a very fast-growing area, as the member for Gembrook has said. He knows how fast the area is growing. The Minister for Health is on the record as saying that he recognises that Casey Hospital is working at capacity. I would like to know where the 800 extra beds are, and I ask that the minister commit to provide funding for additional beds at Casey Hospital.