Greens announce plan to better fund Canberra's health

Hear more from the Greens in the Guardian and ABC coverage of this story.

The Greens have announced a plan to phase out the private health insurance rebate and put the savings into public health care.

“The private health insurance rebate has failed to ease pressure on public hospitals,” said ACT Greens senate candidate Christina Hobbs.

“This failure is especially clear in Canberra, where our hospital waiting times are some of the worst in the country. [1]

“Our plan is to reinvest the $5 billion a year subsidy back into the public health system to take the pressure off hospital waiting lists, reduce waiting times in the ED and help fund public dental care.

“The Liberals have taken Canberra's health system to the edge of a funding cliff - the last federal budget saw the ACT lose millions of dollars in health funding. [2] Their only proposal for dealing with this crisis is to dump the problem back onto the states and territories.

“The Liberals have no plan for solving the hospital funding mess they've created. They have no vision or courage for real reform.

“The Greens understand that the only way to protect the health care of every Canberran is to make health a priority and invest in it. Our plan will reinstate the hospital funding formula that this government abandoned.

“We will enshrine the funding formula in law, guaranteeing long-term certainty for the ACT. By requiring the approval of Parliament for any funding change we can protect our hospitals from future governments as reckless as this one.

“The Greens see health as an investment, not a cost. Our priority is to make sure health care in Canberra is accessible, affordable and universal.”

Click here to download our plan.

Contact: Maiy Azize – 02 6108 4516 or 0421 281 400

[1] According to the latest research by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, the ACT has the lowest proportion of urgent patients who are treated on time.

[2] As announced in the 2015-16 Federal Budget, health funding for the ACT will be cut from 2017.