Posted on 22. Apr, 2013 in News

Figures released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) today show the Coalition has broken a key election promise of delivering 100 extra hospital beds in its first full year in office, Shadow Minister for Health Gavin Jennings said.

Mr Jennings said that the 2011/12 figures, which Health Minister David Davis has stated were his preferred measurement, shows that instead of the promised growth in the system, there has been an overall decline of beds.

“Today’s figures show the Napthine Government is literally taking Victoria’s Health system backwards, with 36 less beds in the system after their full first year in office,” Mr Jennings said.

“This shows that the Napthine Government failed to meet its own benchmark of 100 new beds in the system by June last year and it shows that their promise of delivering 800 new beds before the election is nothing short of fantasy.

“These figures also put the lie to the claim made by Mr Napthine and Mr Davis that the beds commitment had been met and they are on target for the full 800 beds.

Mr Jennings said the AIHW figures shows in 2011/12 Victoria had an average of 13,218 acute public hospital beds, which is down 36 from the previous year where there were 13,254 beds.

“When you take into account the growth of the population and increase in demand on our health services, this epic failure is clearly going to have an impact on patient care,” he said.

“Premier Napthine now has the dubious honour of providing less beds per head of population that any other mainland state or territory.

“Victorian hospital performance data released in February already demonstrated a system struggling to cope in the wake of savage cutbacks from this government.

“Under the Napthine Government, there are now a record number of people on the elective surgery waiting list, ambulances are backed up at hospital doors and people are waiting longer in emergency departments.

“This is what happens when you cut $616 million from the health system.

“True to form, Mr Davis was ready with someone else to blame – this time it was Victoria’s nurses. Before that it was Federal Government and carbon tax before that.

“What the community needs is a Health Minister who works every day to improve our health system, not someone who blames everyone else while our hospitals fall further and further behind.”

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