Federal Health Minister Tanya Plibersek has called on the NSW government to increase its spending on hospitals to ensure vital treatments aren’t placed on hold to meet budgets.
On Friday Fairfax Media revealed a surgeon at the only hospital in the state to perform a specialist lifesaving cancer operation was told to stop for the next 33 days to make budget.
There are already 42 people on the waiting list for the peritonectomy operation at St George Hospital, with 20 waiting longer than is clinically recommended.
Minister Plibersek said she was “extremely concerned” to hear the surgery had been put on hold.
“To hear that life-saving operations have been put on hold for budget reasons is a huge concern,” she said. “We know that $3 billion was cut from the New South Wales health system at the last budget, I think it’s critical that the New South Wales Government restore funding to ensure that vital operations can be carried out.”
The state government maintains it has only cut $775 million from the health system – with the rest of the money coming from “efficiency savings”.
But Ms Plibersek said more patients would end up waiting longer for vital treatment unless the funding was reinstated.
“You can’t cut health funding and not affect frontline services,” she said.
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