Labor demands feds cough up funding for CQ's hospitals
"PAY up" is the strong message the Labor party has sent to Capricornia MP Michelle Landry and the federal government.
Queensland Senator Murray Watt, Labor candidate For Capricornia Russell Robertson, Keppel MP Brittany Lauga and Rockhampton MP Barry O'Rourke met with health workers at Rockhampton Base hospital yesterday.
After bringing out an oversized invoice prop, the Labor politicians took turns hammering the federal government and Capricornia MP Michelle Landry over a perceived failure to meet their health funding obligations for Central Queensland.
Last month the State Government revealed that an estimated $39 million was owed to Central Queensland from the Federal Government for unpaid surgeries and other hospital admissions.
In addition to that, Mr Watt said that Ms Landry has also supported Malcolm Turnbull, in cutting another $6.1 million from Central Queensland hospitals between 2017-2020, and $160 million from hospitals state wide.
"At the Rockhampton Hospital alone they are cutting $3.6 million over the next three years and $250,000 from the Capricorn Coast Hospital," Senator Watt said.
Mr Robertson called on Ms Landry to stand up for the region saying "we're really sick of her talking a good game up here and then going to Canberra and supporting all her mates".
Ms Landry's spokesperson responded to the situation saying that while Federal funding for hospitals continues to increase, there is a current case of a discrepancy being picked up by the Independent Administrator for the National Health Funding Pool.
"The Independent Administrator's job is to keep hospital funding applications on a level playing field across the country, ensuring the taxpayer is not taken for a ride," the spokesperson said.
"The Independent Administrator recently found that a number of procedures being charged by both Queensland and Victorian Governments were inflated far beyond the standard prices it had set.
"While the Administrator undergoes a process to identify the legitimacy of these charges, the Federal Government is understandably unable to pay the so-called 'bill'."
The spokesperson said the taxpayer will act like any business in this circumstance and will not - and will not be allowed to - pay for part of a bill while some of it is under investigation.
"Senator Watt is playing cynical politics and if he wishes to prosecute this case, needs to justify why the state has overcharged the taxpayer," the spokesperson said.