Federal Member for Aston, Alan Tudge MP, directly asked the Prime Minister in Question Time to explain how she could justify cutting hospital beds, including five from Wantirna Health, while still spending money on carbon tax ads.
The Gillard Government recently cut $107 million from Victorian hospitals including $8.4 million from Eastern Health. The funding cut has caused Eastern Health to close five palliative care beds at Wantirna Health and five surgical beds at the Angliss Hospital.
Mr Tudge asked why the Prime Minister was prioritising spending $110m on carbon tax ads, while cutting $107 million from health.
My question is to the Prime Minister. I refer the Prime Minister to her decision to cut $107 million from Victorian hospitals, causing beds to close across Victoria, including five palliative care beds from Wantirna Health in my electorate. How can the Prime Minister justify cutting $107 million from Victorian hospitals, while at the same time spending the same amounts on carbon tax promotion? Surely, hospital beds are more important than promoting the carbon tax.
The Prime Minister did not engage fully with the question, claiming that they had not cut funding. This is despite the media statement from Eastern Health stating directly that its bed closures were to “pull back more than $8.4 million in lost Commonwealth funding as part of an overall reduction to the State of Victoria of nearly $107 million.”
“This government has its priorities all wrong when it prioritises funding carbon tax ads above hospital beds,” Mr Tudge commented afterwards.
“The health of Knox locals is at being put at risk as a result of these funding cuts.”
“These cuts must be reversed immediately,” he said.
Mr Tudge is calling on locals to sign up to a petition calling on the government to reverse the cuts. It can be signed at his office (Suite 4, Level 1, 420 Burwood Highway Wantirna South) or online at www.alantudge.com.au.