February 26, 2013

Health Minister David Davis Must Release BHS Statement of Priorities

The Baillieu Government has been caught hiding documents that detail the damage that Baillieu Government budget cuts have caused hospitals across Victoria, Member for Ballarat East, Geoff Howard MP said today.

Mr Howard said documents leaked to the media show that the Baillieu Government has been responsible for the massive blowout in the number of people waiting for elective surgery.

“Premier Baillieu and his Health Minister, David Davis, have been attempting to keep the worsening state of our public health system a secret,” Mr Howard said.

“These leaked documents shatter the credibility of Mr Baillieu and Mr Davis – not just because they show that more Victorians are waiting longer for the care they need – but because it shows the length this Government will go to hide their mismanagement of the system.

“It’s time for the Baillieu Government to end the secrecy and release all Statement of Priorities signed by Mr Davis and the Chairs of each Victorian hospital board, which includes the document from Ballarat Health Services.”  

The Southern Health 2012-13 Statement of Priorities shows an expected blowout of the elective surgery waiting list of 53 per cent by June this year. It is a similar story at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, which has also blown out by 41 per cent. There has been speculation that the state-wide waiting list will top 60,000.

It is currently unknown what the impact will be at the Ballarat Base Hospital, that’s why Mr Baillieu and Mr Davis must release Ballarat Health Services Statements of Priorities.

Mr Howard said the Baillieu Government had hidden the Statement of Priorities because
they showed the parlous state of the health system long before the funding stoush with the Commonwealth.

“Mr Baillieu can no longer deny that his $616 million health cuts are hurting Victorians. These stunning figures back up what health insiders have been saying for a long time – that things have never been as bad as they are under Ted Baillieu,” Mr Howard said.

The Health system had been in decline since the government was elected in 2010.

  • The number of people waiting for elective surgery has sky-rocketed to its highest ever levels.
  • Our emergency departments are full – and almost one in three patients are not being treated within the required time.
  • Ambulance response times are blowing out, meaning the lives of people with the most urgent medical needs are being put at risk.

“The evidence is clear – we have a system that is faltering because of two years of Ted Baillieu’s budget cuts,” Mr Howard said.