Shadow Treasurer and Member for Mulgrave, Curtis Pitt, says the Newman Government’s mass sackings are starting to impact on the delivery of essential services to Queenslanders.
“I understand the Cairns and Hinterland Health and Hospital Service is due soon to announce its share of the $3 billion in cuts to jobs and services Health Minister Lawrence Springborg is imposing on our state’s health system,” Mr Pitt said.
“If cuts in the order of more than 200 jobs are announced, that will have a real and adverse impact on local health services.
“I defy the Minister to walk through any hospital and point out the staff members surplus to requirements.
“It is Mr Springborg who is insisting on a 3% cut to the budget of the Cairns HHS that equates to $17.4 million this financial year alone. There will be more cuts in years to come.
“These savage cuts are part of the $3 billion in cuts the Minister is imposing on all regional health boards over the next four years.
”While Mr Springborg is cutting $3 billion over four years from health and hospital services, he is running around trying to divert attention from his own cuts by trying to claim a 21% or $600 million rise in federal health funding to Queensland over the next four years is a ‘cut’.
“Federal funding will rise from $3.1 billion to $3.7 billion
Mr Pitt said he supported the day of action scheduled for 4.30pm Wednesday being organised by health workers and other locals who cared about local service standards and local jobs.
“Mr Springborg’s savage funding cuts cannot help but hit the level of service provided in our hospitals and other health facilities,” he said.
“We are already losing frontline services such as the Cairns Time Out House that has been a great success in helping young adults maintain their mental health and wellbeing, providing them with a safe and supportive living environment while they access community supports.
“The callous LNP government is allowing it to be shut down with no consideration of an alternative service or other means of support.
“It is not too late for the Minister to reverse this senseless decision and keep Time Out House open as a valuable community asset that actually saves money by avoiding the cost of in-patient care.
“The only alternative will be to admit young people to high-cost, acute mental health beds in the Cairns Base Hospital,” Mr Pitt said.