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.
Shepparton’s Declo Bisimwa firmly believes education is the key to a better life.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
Garners Boxing Gym in Echuca is encouraging young people to get active with weekly boxing/cardio classes.
Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
A theatre production with a difference is coming to Seymour.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
District residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some of the region’s most beautiful private gardens on Sunday.
The 116th annual Cobram Show went off with a bang at the weekend, drawing in crowds from far and wide for two days of fun.
Tomorrow is a Total Fire Ban day in Deniliquin, meaning no fires can be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended.
Fifty new full-time jobs will be created at Tatura with a multimillion-dollar expansion of the abattoirs expected to be announced today.
Remembering Australian political giant Gough Whitlam who once called on Benalla police to stop then Treasurer Frank Crean on his journey up the Hume to phone the PM.
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