QLD Cries Out For Funding Boost Ahead Of Reopening
Pressure is mounting on the federal government to provide more crisis funding to bolster health systems ahead of the country reopening.
Queensland, along with several states and territories are petitioning the government for a 50 - 50 spilt for public hospitals to cope with a likely surge of admissions.
Amid concerns of an inevitable Delta outbreak, Queensland deputy premier Steven Miles said the commonwealth need to cough up after artificially capping "growth funding at six-and-a-half per cent".
“They did that before the pandemic. What we’re saying now is that the pandemic will clearly drive demand that is greater than that and given that our hospitals are funded as a partnership, we would like the federal government to increase their contribution to that partnership.”
- Steven Miles
However, the tiff between state and federal governments over hospital funding has only escalated over the past few days with Prime Minister Scott Morrison accusing Queensland's Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk of “holding the federal government to ransom".
It comes after the Premier on Friday said opening the state was reliant upon federal funding to increase the system's capacity.
“We need to make sure that we get the people vaccinated and the hospitals prepared. And until you do both of those, it would be irresponsible to put the whole country at risk," she said.
“And I’m not going to put Queenslanders at risk until both of those issues are sorted out.”
- Premier Palaszczuk
However, the PM retaliated by accusing the Palaszczuk government of extortion, amounting it to “shakedown politics”.
Meanwhile, Australian Medical Association President Dr Omar Korshid warns extra demand on the state's health system is inevitable.
"We expect to see a significant demand on hospitals as we reopen, particularly in those states that are not currently experiencing any Covid"
"But the bigger impact on health systems," Dr Korshid entreats, "is that they have to deal with the potential that any patient could have Covid"
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