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Catholic Health condemns 'indecent' budget

Catholic Health Australia has described last night's Federal Budget as indecent, saying it ripped nearly $1 billion from public hospitals to put it into doctors' pockets.

Speaking after the release of the federal budget CHA's CEO Francis Sullivan said: "This budget opens the door for higher charges for medicines and GP services for the sick and chronically ill, and imposes a massive cut to public hospitals."

He said that while the tax cuts may soften the blow, they will not erase these additional burdens, nor meet public hospital care costs.

Mr Sullivan said: "With blatant disregard for the growth pressures on public hospitals, the Government has taken close to $1 billion away from the next hospital funding agreements, to bolster GP incomes."

"This will not improve health outcomes, just doctor salaries," he said. "In anyone's terms this is far from fair and decent."

"The Government's Medicare proposals are welcome on three fronts: more doctors, more nurses and more patient convenience. But more fees for lower income people is unnecessary and discriminatory.

"These proposals will erode the benefits of Medicare and favour the well off and the fortunate. It's time to ask the better off to contribute more so that everyone can benefit from our universal public insurance scheme."

Catholic Health Australia/Courier Mail

Catholic Health Australia | Canberra Update
Treasurer's Website

14 May 2003