Media release

Hospitals need leadership not politics

The buck for your hospitals stops at the top, AMA says.

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The Prime Minister has ruled out a new hospital funding agreement to provide the state governments with a fairer 50-50 funding deal, while the Opposition Leader has signalled a willingness to talk to state minsters, but also stopped short of a firm commitment, the AMA said today.

AMA President, Dr Omar Khorshid said the ruling out of a new funding agreement on hospitals is a clear message to the electorate from Scott Morrison.

“By ruling out a new funding deal for our hospitals, the PM is saying that it is ok our hospitals are ramped with ambulances. He is saying it is ok that EDs are overflowing, that people are suffering in pain, or worse, dying.

“What we need is leadership by the next Prime Minster – whether it be Mr Morrison or Mr Albanese – to address the root cause of the hospital crisis, which is funding.

“It is easy spin to say it is not a Prime Minister’s responsibility. It is easy spin to blame the states, but the root cause of the problem is the National Health Reform Agreement, which the Prime Minister has the responsibility of negotiating with the states.

“This could not be clearer. It is the next Prime Minister’s job to tackle the hospital crisis and fix your hospitals, in partnership with the state governments.

“In the short term we need immediate and significant assistance to help the states and territories deal with the backlog of essential surgery and in the longer term a funding agreement which truly allows our public hospitals to cope - that is a 50-50 agreement which also removes the 6.5 per cent cap.

"The Victorian premier Dan Andrews has said the next federal government will face a showdown of united premiers and chief ministers on the funding split.

“We know state premiers and state health ministers on both sides of politics have called for a new agreement, in line with AMA’s recommendations.

“We also know premiers have put on the record formally that the extra funding provided would go straight into hospital services – the South Australian Premier put that on the record, yet again, at the National Press Club.

“There is no excuse here. States would not seek to reduce their contributions, as has been claimed today by the Prime Minister.

“Whilst Mr Morrison has said the buck doesn’t stop with him on hospitals, there is still time for Mr Albanese as an alternative Prime Minister to make clear his greater vision for health and specifically, our struggling hospitals, for all Australians. What Australians need, and frankly deserve, is to hear a firm commitment - before election day - to a new 50-50 funding agreement,” Dr Khorshid said.

The AMA’s campaign, Clear the Hospital Logjam, outlines the crisis our hospitals face and outlines the funding solution through a new hospital funding agreement.

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