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Government health tug of war

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January 13, 2018

The Victorian and Federal governments were at loggerheads again yesterday, after two state ministers claimed Goulburn Valley Health stood to lose $1.82million in next year’s funding.

State Labor politicians blamed the Federal Government, which they say is refusing to pay more than $100million owed to Victorians.

Member for Northern Victoria Mark Gepp said the cuts created uncertainty for hospitals trying to plan for future patient demand.

He and Victorian Health Minister Jill Hennessy said despite conceding late last year Victoria was owed money, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull had not reimbursed the Victorian Government for treating tens of thousands of extra patients.

‘‘Victorians deserve to know why Malcolm Turnbull is once again short-changing them — this time at the expense of their health. It’s not good enough,’’ Ms Hennessy said.

They say Shepparton patients stand to miss out once and the Federal Government has put the future funding of Goulburn Valley Health at risk.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said Daniel Andrews’ Victorian Government was not only lying but had no shame.

‘‘The truth is that Commonwealth funding for Victorian hospitals is increasing to record levels every year,’’ he said.

‘‘Funding is growing from $3.26billion under the previous Labor Government to more than $5.7billion under the Coalition in 2020-21.’’

Ms Hennessy’s office claimed cuts were creating uncertainty for hospitals trying to plan for future patient demand and the Victorian Government had to top up funding.

Mr Gepp said the $1.82million owed equated to 11 more nurses for the hospital and was another example of the Federal Government dudding Victorians.

Mr Hunt said it was disappointing to see state ministers trying to ‘‘scaremonger vulnerable patients’, calling it a low act.

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