Patients to suffer, says Andrews

VICTORIAN hospitals are going backwards, according to state opposition leader Daniel Andrews. 

Speaking from Bendigo yesterday, Mr Andrews said “cruel and callous” government funding cuts were seeing hospital waiting lists grow. 

“If you don’t fund health properly, it’s very simple; patients wait longer and that’s exactly what we’re seeing at Bendigo Health,” he said.

 “It’s what we’re seeing across regional Victoria. On a state-wide basis we’ve got something like 8000 more people waiting for elective surgery today than was the case when Mr Baillieu took office. 

“The system’s getting worse, the system’s under pressure, its going backwards. Bendigo Health recently announced the closure of 24 beds, cuts to mental health services and increased ER waiting times.” 

Mr Andrews visited Huntly Primary School to discuss education funding changes.

Principal Craig Burnett said parents were struggling to pay for books and programs at the school. 

But a spokesman for Education Minister Martin Dixon told the Bendigo Advertiser before the meeting that some payments for low-income families had increased.

 “The education maintenance allowance, which was paid to low-income families to help with costs such as uniforms, books and excursions, will increase for eligible families this year,” they said. 

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