Stronger Medicare: Strengthening Hospitals

Every Australian should have access to affordable, quality health care when and where they need it.

Hospitals are at the heart of Medicare: Australia’s world-class universal health care system.

A Shorten Labor Government will reduce waiting times for elective surgery and emergency departments, invest in hospitals and protect Medicare so Australia has the strong health system we need for the future.

Labor will also ramp up investment in health care at the frontline – so fewer Australians end up in hospital in the first place.

All Australians deserve access to the best possible health care when they need it – determined by their Medicare card, not their credit card.

That’s why a Shorten Labor Government will restore the National Health Reform Agreement for four years, at the originally agreed funding formula of 50 per cent of growth in costs based on the National Efficient Price, and provide additional support to the States and Territories to reduce waiting times for elective surgery and in public hospital emergency departments.

This will boost hospital funding by $2 billion more than the Liberals over the next four years, and drive efficiency by funding the States and Territories on the basis of the actual services performed.

This will mean reduced hospital waiting times, more beds, more doctors and nurses.

Hospitals that perform services more efficiently are able to use additional funding to invest in service improvement.

The Liberals went to the election promising no cuts to health – and then they inflicted savage cuts to our hospitals.

The Liberals scrapped Labor’s National Health Reform Agreement and returned to an outdated model of indexation, which saw cuts to hospitals across the country. They have recently been forced to admit that Labor’s reforms were right all along – but failed to match Labor’s investment, committing just 45 per cent of growth in efficient costs.

While Labor’s new commitment does not restore all of the funding ripped out by the Liberals, it restores Labor’s agreement for the next four years and provides certainty for a new agreement to be negotiated under a Labor Government.

Click here to read the fact sheet for more information on Labor’s positive plan for hospitals.