Shadow Minister for Health Libby Mettam says the McGowan Labor Government has been forced into an embarrassing backflip because their planned cuts of more than $10 million to St John of God Midland Public Hospital were exposed.
“The only reason these cruel cuts have been overturned is because of the huge outcry when the McGowan Labor Government’s plans were exposed,” Ms Mettam said.
“They were shamed into this backflip. This Government is awash with cash, with expectations their surplus will reach $5 billion, so it is outrageous that they were even contemplating slashing more than $10 million from St John of God Midland Public Hospital’s budget.
“Patient safety has to come first. Staff at St John of God Midland Public Hospital are already overwhelmed with the patient load and are crying out for more support. These cuts would have put lives at risk.
“This Government is failing our hard-working health workers throughout the entire state, who are under-resourced. The West Australian health system is in crisis but the Premier and the Health
Minister refuse to admit it. West Australians deserve a Health Minister who is committed to resourcing and managing our health system properly. If he is not up to the task he should stand down.”
Ms Mettam said strong leadership was needed to restore faith in the health system.
“The $10.6 million of funding cuts have been restored, but it’s only for one year,” she said.
“This backflip by the McGowan Labor Government is yet another example of policy on the run when West Australians deserve a considered and long-term plan for health.”
Donna Faragher, Member for East Metropolitan Region, welcomed the decision to reverse the significant funding cuts to St John of God Midland Public Hospital.
“The hospital is a major health facility for the Eastern region so it must have the investment and resources it needs to properly service our community,” Mrs Faragher said.
“The initial decision by the McGowan Labor Government to significantly reduce the hospital’s budget from July was deeply concerning and it is clear from answers given to questions in Parliament this week that the hospital was facing a cut of $10.6 million.
“While the reversal is welcomed, it should not have taken negative press and questions in the Legislative Council for the McGowan Labor Government to fix this funding shortfall.”