Deniliquin Hospital's budget the creates government debate.ZOE MCMAUGH January 25, 2013 4:32am
Deniliquin Mayor Lindsay Renwick has welcomed a response from Murrumbidgee Local Health Network that local hospital budgets will not be cut.
MLHN has denied claims from NSW Opposition Leader John Robertson and Shadow Health Minister Dr Andrew McDonald’s that $31.6 million has been ‘‘slashed’’ in the operation budget for this financial year.
Both MLHN chief executive Susan Weisser and NSW Minister for Health Jillian Skinner said the accusation from the Opposition was incorrect, labelling it scaremongering.
They both revealed the MLHN operation budget has in fact increased this financial year.
With an opinion that health should be the top priority for both state and federal governments, Cr Renwick said any funding cuts to the health system would be devastating.
‘‘It wouldn’t matter if it was only a $1 cut, there would be flow on effects.
‘‘Our hospital is already struggling, so taking a huge amount like $36.1 million out would have an enormous impact.
‘‘And we can little afford to lose any more jobs (if there are cuts).
‘‘Government have long been treating health as a joke, and I feel it should be the top priority.’’
Responding specifically to the NSW Opposition, Ms Weisser assured the community the Murrumbidgee Local Health District budget ‘‘has not been cut’’.
‘‘MLHD received an additional $14.4 million in funding in 2012/13 to a total allocation of $447 million.
‘‘Initial budgets are enhanced throughout each year to reflect implementation of agreed new patient services in LHDs.
‘‘This is over and above the initial budgets set at the beginning of the financial year.’’
Mr Robertson and Dr McDonald say the NSW Government plans to ‘‘cut an unprecedented $3 billion from the public health system’’.
Ms Skinner said she was ‘‘disappointed’’ by the comments, considering the NSW health budget increased this year by 5.4 per cent to a ‘‘record’’ $17.3 billion.
She did, however, reiterate plans to redirect $2.2 billion in health funding, which she said would be sourced from better use of existing resources and efficiency savings.
‘‘Over four years, $2.2 billion in efficiency savings will be made in health to be reinvested in frontline services.’’
This money will be staying within the NSW health system and is not a ‘cut’.
‘‘There is a labour expense cap of $775 million over four years - $89 million this year. All portfolios across the NSW Government have been tasked to make these labour expense cap savings to restore the state’s finances and ensure we live within our means.
‘‘Local health districts have been given control over how they redirect the $2.2 billion to create greater efficiencies in the health budget.’’
Ms Skinner said implementing improved models of care, permanently employing staff instead of using casuals and the elimination of duplication in administration will help reduce excess spending.
City of Greater Shepparton Mayor Jenny Houlihan urges people to continue supporting SPC Ardmona after yesterday’s funding announcement, but also warns it could mean less jobs in the future.
Mulwala Thirds full forward Gus McMillan kicked his 100th goal for the season on Saturday.
Murchison and Tatura SES units were two of 26 Victoria State Emergency Service volunteer units to receive an allocation of new equipment this week as part of the annual AAMI equipment handover program.
Echuca Police operated in association with local sheriffs to check passing cars for outstanding warrants.
Rochester resident Phyllis Thompson raised concerns about the pedestrian crossing outside the post office VicRoads recently.
Girgarre Primary School students relate what the best book is they have read and why.
The death of Arthur Cole is the passing of a true gentleman.
A commemorative plaque to mark 100 years of Berrigan Red Cross has been unveiled outside the Berrigan RSL Club.
Peter Maine has traken over the president's role for Heathcote Tourism and Development.
Cobram service sees crowd commemorate 48th anniversary of a key Vietnam battle.
The region is holding out for winter rain.
A $100 million investment program will recommence following parent company Coca-Cola Amatil's decision today to invest $78 million into SPC Ardmona.
Vale Pat Gardner, 1916 - 2014 whose last wish was for the Benalla ceramic mural to be listed by the National Trust.
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