Bill's Media Releases


Surgeries will be delayed, nurse and doctor numbers will decline and emergency department wait times will increase as a result of Malcolm Turnbull’s $715 million cuts to public hospitals from 2017-2020.

Turnbull’s $715 million cut to public hospitals is equivalent to:

  • 2,010 nurses a year
  • 198,000 cataract extractions
  • 27,000 knee replacements
  • 118,000 births

It says it all about Turnbull’s priorities that he is happy to give big business a tax handout but won’t properly fund our public hospitals and give Australians the health care they need.

In 2016-17, our emergency departments saw a record number of people, with 7.8 million presentations. And under Turnbull, people are waiting longer than ever for critical elective surgery.

Australians aren’t going to our public hospitals because they want something to do – they are there because they desperately need health care to get back on their feet. They’re people waiting for hip surgery, knee replacements, and dealing with life-threatening health issues.

When you or your loved one is sick, the last thing you need is to be turned away because your local hospital doesn’t have enough staff or beds to give you the care you need.

Every dollar cut from our public hospitals is a dollar cut from our sickest and most vulnerable patients.

Access to health care should be determined by your Medicare card – not your credit card. But while Turnbull’s prioritises defending big business and siding with the private health insurers our public hospitals continue to be put last.

Turnbull is happy to give big business $65 billion – but he can’t find one ninetieth of that to properly fund our public hospitals in the next three years.

Labor created Medicare, we will always fight to protect Medicare and we will fight Turnbull’s cuts to hospitals.

Additional statistics:

  • In 2016–17, there were 7.8 million presentations to Australia’s public hospital emergency departments—an average of more than 21,000 presentations each day.
  • There are 559,000 extra presentations a year to Australia’s emergency departments than before the Liberals were elected.
  • 13.8% of Australians will visit an emergency department every year – that’s around 3,312,000 people nationwide.
  • Patients presenting to emergency departments requiring urgent medical attention are being left in emergency departments for longer, with only 66 per cent of urgent emergency department patients in 2016-17 seen within the recommended 30 minutes.
  • More than 50 percent of public hospital doctors are working unsafe hours that put them at significant risk of fatigue – including 75% of intensive care specialists, with the Australian Medical Association saying “the strain and the pressure on our public hospitals is having a detrimental impact on the health of our doctor.

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