Posted on 11. Oct, 2011 in News

The Baillieu Government’s promise to deliver additional beds to Victorian hospitals is in tatters after Health Minister David Davis today failed to outline where the beds will be placed.

In Parliament today, Mr Davis stumbled when asked by the Shadow Minister for Health, Gavin Jennings, to name what hospitals would receive the 800 new beds promised by Mr Baillieu before winning office last year.

“Clearly, Mr Baillieu has hoodwinked Victorians,” Mr Jennings said.

“He promised to fund an additional 800 hospital beds in his first term of Government – and to deliver the first 100 by June next year.

“But in Parliament today, his Health Minister, Mr Davis, could not confirm what hospitals would receive these beds.

“In fact, Mr Davis has further betrayed his hollow promise by saying that some of his hospital beds may in fact be beds in a patient’s home.”

Mr Jennings said Mr Davis was playing absurd word games, trying to wiggle his way out of delivering on his promise of more hospital beds to Victorians.

“In the meantime, our emergency departments are under enormous pressure, ambulance services are stretched to breaking point and people’s lives are being put at risk.

“Doctors, nurses and now paramedics are all saying the same thing – Victoria’s hospital system has never been as bad as this.”

Mr Jennings said today’s back down on the promised beds for hospitals followed disturbing new reports about an ambulance system in crisis due to overstretched emergency departments.

“The Baillieu Government has been in office for almost a year. During this time, one million patients have been treated in our hospitals and they have not delivered funding for one new bed, one new hospital or one new nurse,” he said.

“You can’t expect our hospitals to treat more patients with less money.”

Mr Jennings said the Baillieu Government’s plan to cut the price of ambulance membership has made the problem worse.

“Now there is even less money to pay for an increased demand for ambulance services. Also a promised 240 offices for regional Victoria and a 100 for Melbourne over four years was a drop in the ocean compared to Labor’s investment of an extra 1200 paramedics statewide.

“It’s time the Baillieu Government stopped blaming others, accepted the responsibilities of Government and started keeping its promises to Victorians.”

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