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QUARANTINE ILLAWARRA HEALTH & HOSPITALS FROM UPCOMING NSW BUDGET CUT CHOPPING BOARD

May 01, 2019

The Berejiklian Government must quarantine Illawarra health and hospitals from forthcoming budget cut chopping board after further pressure on Wollongong Hospital’s Emergency Department have been revealed.

 

Over recent weeks additional pressures on the Illawarra’s health and hospital system have been revealed including paramedic shortages, a looming budget shortfall and growing waiting times in the Emergency Department.

 

Over the last two days, the Treasurer, Dominic Perrottet MP, has conceded that a fall in GST receipts would subsequently cut the NSW Budget surplus by half over the next four years.

 

The Premier has already foreshadowed cuts to public sector jobs in the Budget following comments published in the Weekend Australian on 13 April 2019 under the headline ‘Public servants in Premier’s line of fire’.

 

Member for Wollongong, Paul Scully wrote to the Premier on 16 April 2019 asking her to guarantee that there would not be a single public sector job cut from the Illawarra in the June budget.  He has not received a response from the Premier.

 

Mr Scully also called on the Minister for Health, Brad Hazzard MP on 14 April 2019 to intervene and fix the Wollongong Hospital funding crisis where it’s been reported the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District is operating in deficit again.  He has not received a response from the Health Minister.

 

Mr Scully said Wollongong Hospital was under enormous pressure recording the third worst Emergency Department performance in New South Wales, a record high elective surgery waiting list, continued roster and staffing vacancies all while performing more surgeries than the same period last year, including 15.4 per cent more urgent surgeries.

 

During the last NSW election the Berejiklian Government committed more than $8.7 billion to improve hospitals, but not a single cent was pledged to Wollongong Hospital.

 

NSW Labor pledged to upgrade the maternity unit, children’s ward and establish a comprehensive, independent review of the Illawarra’s health care funding and resourcing needs.

 

Comments attributable to Paul Scully MP:

 

“The Berejiklian Government is trying to soften up the community for big budget cuts after the Treasurer revealed this week that the NSW surplus would be cut in half because of slower GST revenue.

 

“The Premier has already been busy foreshadowing major cuts to thousands of public sector jobs, but she won’t reveal which jobs or in which areas.

 

“In the June budget, our health and hospitals need more investment, especially at Wollongong Hospital, which is under so much pressure it was forced to turn away an elderly man suffering chronic heart disease and pneumonia after he waiting in the Emergency Department for 12 hours.

 

“I’ve already written to the Premier asking her to guarantee that not a single public sector job will be lost in the Illawarra region in the forthcoming budget cuts.

 

“The Berejiklian Government boasted at the election in March that we could have it all.

 

“The Premier and Treasurer must guarantee that their secret cuts to public sector jobs will not hit the Illawarra.

 

“The Government must quarantine the Illawarra’s health and hospitals from its secret budget cut chopping board.”

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