AMA issues money warning
Doctors warn that a hospital funding crisis is putting patients at risk.
The Australian Medical Association’s pre-budget submission calls for more public hospital funding, to protect the safety of patients.
“Despite their importance and despite our reliance on our hospitals to save lives, and improve quality of life, they have been chronically underfunded for too long,” the submission read.
AMA President Tony Bartone says the $50 billion in funding to public hospitals last financial year was not enough to turn the tide.
“If we look at the performance of Australian public hospitals over the last decade, we can see the performance criteria has not changed,” he said.
“We're seeing wait times in emergency departments as well as elective surgery wait times, especially for non-urgent categories, have remained significantly under target — so we haven't seen any noticeable improvement across the board.
“In some of the states in particular they've gone backwards, so we need to invest, we need to improve our performance to meet the growing demands of our ageing population.”
Health Minister Greg Hunt says the Coalition will deliver over $30 billion in additional public hospital funding over four years from 2020-21, pushing overall funding for the period to $130.2 billion.