Govt's health funding cut 'threatens' critical infrastructure

18 December, 2013

The federal government's scrapping of the ALP's Priority Health Initiative program threatens to stall critical infrastructure and clinical service improvement programs across Australia, an Australian Healthcare & Hospitals Association (AHHA) spokesperson has said in a recent statement.

"Patient services in critical areas will be impacted by the cancellation of the Priority Health Initiatives projects," Alison Verhoeven, chief executive of the AHHA, said.

"The AHHA acknowledges the current challenging fiscal environment but there are real concerns that these cuts will cause delays in access in critical areas such as cancer diagnosis and treatment, and neonatal care.

"The Priority Health Initiative program included chemotherapy facilities in Queensland and New South Wales, and an investment in the cancer specialist workforce in Western Australia and additional cancer care nurses.

"There are particular concerns for the people of western Sydney as funds destined for Westmead and Nepean Hospitals have been cut. 

"Funding commitments for the Millennium Institute and Children's Medical Research Institute, also in western Sydney are gone."

The AHHA represents Australia's largest group of health care providers in public hospitals, community and primary health sectors and advocates for universal high quality healthcare to benefit the whole community.