On Monday the Shadow Minister for Health and Medicare, Catherine King joined Labor candidate, Fiona Phillips to visit hospitals in the region and announced a Shorten Labor government will invest millions of dollars in additional funding in Illawarra and Shoalhaven public hospitals, funding more beds and bringing down emergency department and elective surgery waiting times.

After meeting with staff from Shoalhaven District Memorial Hospital today, it’s clear to us there are pressing problems in this region. Staff simply do not have the resources they need to provide proper care.

We have pledged to fully reverse Malcolm Turnbull’s 2019-2025 hospital cuts by establishing a national $2.8 billion Better Hospitals Fund – meaning we will deliver a record investment in the health of all Australians.

Turnbull is cutting $11.6 million from Illawarra and Shoalhaven hospitals between 2017 and 2020 alone – and now he wants to lock in another huge cut over the subsequent 5 years.

In contrast, Labor’s investment will fund more doctors, nurses and other hospital staff and give them the support they need to deliver the world-class care the people of this region deserve.

Labor is the party of public health and Medicare – and we will always deliver better public hospital funding than the Liberals.

The independent experts say “spending is actually declining on a per capita basis” and warn “Australians will either become sicker or be forced to pay more for medical care”.

As a result of the Liberals’ cuts to Medicare and hospitals:

  • The national average wait time for elective surgery is the longest on record.
  • The number of hospital beds available for elderly Australians is the lowest on record.
  • One in three patients with ‘urgent’ needs in Australia’s emergency departments are not being seen on time