Federal Election 2016: Federal Opposition promises to increase hospital funding by $2 billion more than Coalition if elected
The Federal Opposition is promising to increase hospital funding by $2 billion more than the Coalition if it is elected in July.
The Abbott government cut $80 billion from state health and education funding in the 2014 Budget.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull recently agreed to give the states and territories an extra $2.9 billion for health until 2020.
Today Labor is promising to restore all of the health funding money slated for the next four years and renegotiate a long-term agreement.
The ALP will also provide an additional $100 million over two years for primary care.
"We want to see a genuine attack on waiting lists for elective surgery," Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said.
"We want to see pressure taken off the shoulders of doctors and nurses in our emergency departments right around Australia."
Mr Shorten also outlined Labor's commitment to "save Medicare".
"What Labor does not want this country is for our hospital system to go down the path of a two-tier health system like we see in the US, that is why we are so pleased to prioritise scarce funds to make sure our hospital systems work in the interests of all Australians," he said.
But Treasurer Scott Morrison poured scorn on the plan, telling ABC TV's Insiders that: "It's $2 billion this weekend, it was $3 billion last week on another. Billion-dollar Bill (Shorten) and the spend-o-meter is continuing to work overtime".
NSW government accused of failing hospital patients
The New South Wales Opposition is accusing the State Government of failing hospital patients, with the latest Bureau of Health data showing there are more than 74,000 people on elective surgery waiting lists.
They said that figure had increased from 66,000 when the Liberal-National government was first came to power in 2011.
New South Wales Opposition health spokesperson Walt Secord said both the Federal and State Government needed to stop cuts to hospital funding.
"The state government tore $3 billion out of the health system," he said.
"This is the human cost of those cuts.
"Elderly patients are waiting longer and average wait for New South Wales is now 229 days."
Labor said half of those people on the non-urgent surgery lists are waiting for orthopaedic and cataract procedures.
Source: ABC News