No worse off for Gympie Hospital

FEDERAL Minister for Health Tanya Plibersek has hit back at Coalition claims the carbon tax would cost the Gympie Hospital $215,000.

On Monday, Coalition spokesman for regional health Andrew Laming said the Gympie Hospital's 87 beds could potentially cost an extra $215,000 per year to run based on Queensland Treasury modelling on carbon tax costs.

Ms Plibersek said the claims were another example of the Coalition running around the country, pulling stunt after stunt and deliberately misleading the Australian public about the impact of carbon pricing.

"Hospitals will not pay the carbon price," Ms Plibersek said.

"Increases in electricity prices will be a very small proportion of their costs.

"Federal Government funding for public hospitals will be automatically indexed for these cost increases."

She said Labor was increasing federal hospital funding by 6.5% in 2012-13, increasing each year to more than 10% in 2015-16.

"The Gillard Government is delivering a stronger, fairer health and aged care system by providing an additional $20 billion in funding for state and territory health services out to 2019-20," Ms Plibersek said.

"Since 2007, the Federal Government has committed over $13.5 billion to hospital services and health infrastructure in Queensland.

"Queensland will be funded up to $675 million to improve elective surgery and emergency departments up to 2015-16, on top of growth funding to 2019-20."

Ms Plibersek said Gympie Hospital had shared in almost $20 million in federal funding, provided to the Queensland Government, to improve its anaesthetic and endoscopy services.

By contrast, Tony Abbott cut funding for public hospitals by $1 billion when he was Health Minister.

"The question for Andrew Laming is, with Federal funding for public hospitals at a record high, what is the Queensland government doing with all of this money?"

Gympie Times

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