Hands off our health services

April 11, 2024 BY

No cuts: Nationals member for Euroa Annabelle Cleeland has called for regional health services to be protected in the upcoming Victorian State Budget. Photo: SUPPLIED

NATIONALS Member for Euroa Annabelle Cleeland has called for the Government to avoid making cuts to regional health services.

It comes after recent data showed massive deficits across Victorian public hospitals.

With the state budget announcement due on 7 May, Ms Cleeland said it was imperative that the Government did not cut funding from regional health services.

“Hospitals across the region have already reached out saying they are concerned about potential funding cuts in the upcoming budget,” Ms Cleeland said.

“Many have stated that they are already being told to cut services and staff, despite operating with healthy reserves.

“To me, it seems this Government is now suggesting further cuts to regional health services in order to compensate for overspending in Melbourne.”

Ms Cleeland raised the issue in Parliament, stressing the need for funding security in regional communities.

“Health services in my electorate already lag behind the rest of the state, with significantly delayed ambulance response times and out of control GP wait lists.

“The last thing they need is further cuts.”

The statewide median response time for ambulances is nine minutes but in Mitchell and Benalla Shires expected wait times are up to 50 per cent longer.

“These extra minutes of waiting for urgent support can truly be the difference between life and death,” Ms Cleeland said.