Abbott rejects urgent call for hospital funds

PRIME Minister Tony Abbott has rejected an urgent call from the medical profession to up funding for public hospitals, after a report found a $400 million shortfall in funding.

The Australian Medical Association president Dr Steve Hambleton on Friday made the call, releasing the AMA's annual public hospital report card.

That report showed a fall in federal funding for public hospitals of about $400 million compared to that budgeted by the previous government.

It revealed the previous government created a $134 million shortfall in public hospital funding, which grew to the $400 million in funds with the Abbott Government.

Dr Hambleton said the data showed some states were worse off, calling on the government restore funding.

"This is not the time for public hospital funding cuts. Now is the time to invest in our public hospital as part of an overall health strategy," Dr Hambleton said.

But Mr Abbott on Friday morning said there was not enough money in the budget to consider increasing the budget for Australia's public hospitals.

Health Minister Peter Dutton later said the funding shortfall was the fault of the previous government, and the current government was not in a position to increase the funding.HOSPITAL FUNDING 2013-14:

Bed numbers per 1000 of the over-65 population are largely unchanged

Only 68% of ED patients classed as "urgent" were not seen in the required 30 minutes

In 2012, only West Australia met the interim National Emergency Access Target.


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