Botched figures cause of health cuts, says Springborg

Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan
Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan AAP

THE health cuts responsible for the uncertainty around the Moura hospital were caused by dodgy accounting on behalf of the Federal Treasurer, according to Queensland Health Minister Lawrence Springborg.

Mr Springborg says more than 100,000 Queenslanders were deducted from the States' population growth figures to justify federal cuts to hospital and health services.

He says research by his department had uncovered the inconsitency.

"The actual population figures for the December 2010-December 2011 period were forwarded to the Federal Department of Regional Australia, Local Government Arts and Sport in June 2012," Mr Springborg said.

"These Bureau of Statistics figures showed that in the 12 month period, Queensland's population increased by 67,000.

"However six months later, when Mr Swan cut $103 million from Queensland Health, alternative figures were used to indicate a fall of 35,000 in the Queensland population."

Mr Swan says the indexation arrangements used by the Commonwealth are agreed to by both governments.

"The Newman Government need to give up on their desperate campaign to divert attention from their savage $3 billion cuts to frontline health services in Queensland," Mr Swan said. "They're not fooling anyone.

"By stark contrast, federal health funding to Queensland is growing by 21% from $3.1bn to $3.7bn - that's an increase of $600m over four years."

Mr Springborg said the Senate had begun an inquiry into the impact of the Federal Treasurer's cuts.

"These numbers should be reviewed by the Senate as part of its inquiry," he said.

"Until it reports, Mr Swan should agree to a moratorium on any change in federal health funding."

Topics:  funding cuts health lawrence springborg moura wayne swan

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