State scoops massive $309m hospital payday
A MAJOR breakthrough in the Federal Government's health funding package has been brokered, with the Commonwealth to give Queensland more than $300 million in backpay.
The Courier-Mail can reveal the Turnbull Government will pay the money to the state's hospitals - the final roadblock to the Palaszczuk Government signing up to a new health funding deal.
The new five-year funding agreement would give the state an extra $7 billion.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk had been calling for about $170 million in backpay as a precondition to signing up to the deal.
But the Independent Hospital Pricing Authority told the Turnbull Government this week the state was actually owed $309.2 million for the 2015-16 financial year - almost $140 million more than Ms Palaszczuk was calling for.
It is understood the Commonwealth will make the payments in coming weeks.
The Turnbull Government now expects the Premier to sign up to the funding plan after she said in February she would do so "when I get the $170 million that I'm owed".
West Australian hospitals will receive an extra $97.8 million, while Victoria will get an extra $89.8 million, based on the IHPA's analysis.
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said the backpay more accurately reflected actual hospital services delivered by each state.
"The Turnbull Government is committed to increasing funding to Australia's public hospitals through a new National Health Agreement," Mr Hunt said.
"The Government looks forward to working with states and territories to finalise the next agreement, which will build on record funding and delivers an additional $30 billion in new funding to states and territories over the period 2020-21 to 2024-25."
Under the new health funding agreement, which NSW and Western Australia have already signed up to, Queensland hospital funding will increase from $20 billion in the five years to 2019-20 to more than $27 billion in the five years to 2024-25.
The funding increase of 34 per cent also takes into account Queensland's population growth.
The state's hospitals delivered more services than expected in 2015-16, meaning they were shortchanged in federal funding, while the funding for NSW hospitals was overvalued by $19.2 million.