Bill's Media Releases


A Shorten Labor Government will invest $500 million to upgrade and expand emergency departments across Australia and slash ED waiting times.

All Australians will get faster access to better emergency care in public hospitals across with Labor’s plan, which comprises:

  • $250 million for emergency department upgrades; and
  • $250 million for more doctors, nurses and health workers to bring down national waiting times.

Australia needs a change, not more of the same.
That’s why this election is a choice between better hospitals with Labor or bigger cuts under the Liberals.
Under the Liberals, emergency department wait times have blown out across the country.

When he was Treasurer, Scott Morrison cut $700 million from Australia’s public hospitals – cutting hospital beds, cutting healthcare workers, and blowing out hospital waiting lists.
Now as Prime Minister, Scott Morrison is planning to cut another $2.8 billion from public hospitals if he wins the next election.
Because of Morrison’s Liberal cuts, our emergency departments are overcrowded and health workers are at breaking point.

Fewer than two-thirds of urgent patients were seen on time last year.
That means more than a million patients who presented to a public hospital emergency department in need of urgent treatment were left languishing in queues, waiting longer than clinically recommended.

Last month the Australian Medical Association declared our hospitals are “chronically underfunded” and these emergency department delays are compromising the safety and quality of patient care.
Labor’s emergency department waiting time blitz is part our plan for better hospitals, not bigger tax loopholes for the top end of town.

Labor’s plan for better hospitals includes:

  • $2.8 billion Better Hospitals Fund for more doctors and nurses, and shorter hospital waiting lists.
  • $500 million public hospital waiting list blitz for cancer patients
  • $500 million emergency department waiting time blitz ($250m from Better Hospitals Fund)
  • $250 million to slash elective surgery waiting lists (from Better Hospitals Fund).

Labor will also:

  • Invest $2.4 billion to give pensioners access to free dental care; and
  • Invest $2.3 billion in our Medicare Cancer Plan, dramatically cutting costs for cancer patients.

Labor believes access to healthcare should depend on your Medicare card, not your credit card. 

This election is a choice between Labor’s plans for better hospitals and schools, or bigger tax loopholes for the top end of town under the Liberals.


In its annual Public Hospital Report Card, the Australian Medical Association last month declared emergency department performance is in decline across the country.
It found:

  • The proportion of urgent patients seen on time has dropped to 64 per cent
  • The proportion of all people presenting to the ED seen on time has dropped to 72 per cent
  • The number of people who completed their emergency department visit within four hours has also dropped.

The AMA says increased funding is key to addressing this problem.

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