Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Minister claims crisis in hospitals "a coincidence" - as $3 billion cut to health compromises patient care

Health Minister Jillian Skinner has tried to claim major delays to lifesaving surgery, medical appointments and the use of operating theatres as storerooms is just a “coincidence” – and has nothing to do with her Government’s $3 billion cut to hospitals. 

In the past fortnight, it has been revealed: 

Operating theatres at Royal North Shore Hospital are being used as storerooms; 
  • Cancer surgeries at St George Hospital cancelled due to funding shortages; 
  • Up to a four year wait for surgery in clinics at Westmead, Liverpool and John Hunter Hospitals; 
  • More than 10,000 patients said to be on hidden waiting lists for surgery; 
  • Nepean Hospital maternity ward left understaffed by 21 midwives; and 
  • An entire ward and 36 beds at Prince of Wales Hospital closed down. 
Tonight the Health Minister Jillian Skinner tried to claim: 

           “It is a coincidence” (Jillian Skinner, 5 June 2013) 

“It’s no coincidence that we are seeing cancer surgeries cancelled and hospital operating theatres used as storage rooms,” Shadow Health Minister, Dr Andrew McDonald said. 

“This is all happening because Barry O’Farrell and Jillian Skinner are cutting $3 billion from the NSW health system. 

“Children are waiting years to get in at the sleep clinic at Westmead Hospital, while patients in Liverpool have been told there is a two and a half year wait just to get into the local eye clinic. 

“The Health Minister is living in a parallel universe if she thinks major problems across all of these hospitals are just a ‘coincidence’. 

“Doctors and nurses are willing to treat patients – they just need the O’Farrell Government to provide them with the funding and resources to do so. 

“If the O’Farrell Government is serious about improving patient care, they should stop their $3 billion funding cut to our hospitals".

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