Federal Member for Bass Ross Hart today expressed his concerns in Parliament about Malcolm Turnbull’s secret pre-budget hospital plan, following reports of a leaked COAG note that reveals that the Liberals are seeking a five year deal with no new money for public hospitals.

This plan will lock in seven years of public hospital cuts, leaving states with their current, inadequate funding arrangements until 2025.

“Here in Tasmania we are facing a health crisis, the last thing we need is more cuts to health funding. Everyone knows that maintaining funding at present levels with no new money is an effective cut. Surgery and emergency room waiting times have already blown out”, Mr Hart said.

“This week I received a letter from one of my constituents desperate for assistance; she is on the public waiting list for a knee replacement. This is a person with no cartilage in her right knee. She suffers from chronic pain and is unable to stand for any period of time, limiting her day-to-day activities.”

“When she last enquired about the waiting period, she was told to expect a wait of 8 years for her surgery on the public waiting list. This is entirely unacceptable”, Mr Hart said.

Mr Hart noted that the Tasmanian Liberal Government cut $210 million from our hospitals in their first budget, and that Tasmanians have been suffering for it ever since.

“Whenever Liberals get the chance they cut health – they see it as their piggy bank to raid for other projects. We’ve seen it in Tasmania and we are seeing it again now with the Prime Minister’s secret plan”, he said.

Labor will invest in health, put patients first and fix our health crisis.