Casey Hospital funding

Ms GRALEY (Narre Warren South) — My adjournment matter is for the attention of the Minister for Health, and it concerns Casey Hospital. The action I seek from the minister is that he submit the correct paperwork to ensure that Casey Hospital’s emergency department can remain open.

It is with growing disbelief that I have watched this farce develop.

Casey Hospital, which I may add was built by the previous Labor government, is located within a growth corridor. We saw the need and delivered for the growing community. Last year alone almost 50 000 people presented to the emergency department at Casey Hospital, and yet last week the Age reported that Casey Hospital’s emergency department may be closed as the minister has failed to submit the correct paperwork.

In the article headed ‘Missing paperwork could cost hospitals $12 million’, Julia Medew wrote:

Victoria’s overwhelmed emergency departments are missing out on $12 million in commonwealth funding this month because the Victorian government has allegedly failed to submit the right paperwork.

Ms Medew noted also that:

… federal health minister Tanya Plibersek wrote to her Victorian counterpart, David Davis, accusing him of providinginsufficient data on Victorian hospitals’ elective surgery and emergency department activity in 2011-12.

Such data is required under the national funding deal.

The article reports that in her letter to the minister Ms Plibersek, referring to improving public hospital services (IPHS), wrote:

Victoria has persistently failed to provide data to the commonwealth on actual activity for either emergency department or elective surgery services delivered using IPHS funding, despite having committed to reporting against activity set out in your approved implementation plan … Every other state and territory has met its reporting obligations to the commonwealth.

It is quite clear that the minister and indeed the Baillieu government just do not care about the health of Victoria families. Since the government came to office we have witnessed the appalling $616 million in cuts to our health system. We have witnessed the dramatic rise in surgery waiting lists and broken promises after broken promises.

The Baillieu government promised to deliver 800 new beds in its first term and 100 in the first year. These beds are nowhere to be seen.

The Baillieu government promised to slash surgery waiting lists, and yet there are 7000 more people waiting for vital treatment.

The Baillieu government has also refused to match the commitment of 30 new beds and a new surgical operating theatre that Labor promised at the last election.

The city of Casey is one of the fastest growing communities in Victoria. More and more families are choosing Casey as home because we have excellent local schools, parks and sporting grounds and a great local hospital. However, we need Casey Hospital to continue to expand so that it keeps up with the demands of our growing local community.

It is time the minister stopped the blame game. The people of Casey do not want a part-time emergency department. I ask that the minister do the right thing and ensure that the emergency  department  at  Casey Hospital remains open 24 hours a day.