Bendigo Health big loser, says MP

BENDIGO Health has had  $11 million stripped from is budget by the state government, Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan says. 

Ms Allan said a breakdown of the government’s $616 million funding cuts from the past two budgets showed $11 million was cut from the local health service. 

“The cuts to Bendigo Health are being felt by local patients,” she said. 

“The elective surgery waiting lists have blown out by 283 patients, and that’s people who are waiting longer for their surgery. They’re waiting longer simply because the Baillieu Liberal National government aren’t finding enough funding to make sure people aren’t kept off waiting lists.”

Ms Allan said the cuts were made over the last two budgets and covered a four-year period. 

“Anyone who’s had to wait for surgery or had a family member wait knows it can be a very difficult time,” she said. 

Figures provided by Ms Allan showed $3.5 million was cut from the 2012-13 budget, $3.5 million from 2013-14, $3.6 million in 2014-15 and $861,000 in 2015-16. 

Health Minister David Davis did not comment yesterday, but recently said the state government had provided a record amount of health funding. 

“Out payments have grown. Acute health spending has gone up five per cent to a record amount of $7 billion,” he said. 

“Look at budget papers directly and you’ll see the size of the increase. “

When recently asked about the $616 million cuts raised by Ms Allan, Mr Davis said there had been waste in the health system. 

“The state government before the 2010 election said it would reduce waste on consultancy and excessive bureaucracy,” he said. 

“We received a mandate from the people to do that and that has been implemented as promised.”

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