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Labor health package would build hospital capacity and expand important health services

18 Aug 2013

AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton, today welcomed the Labor promise to provide $346 million of new funding for Australia’s health and hospital system.

Dr Hambleton said that the public hospital system is overstretched and under constant pressure and this funding would allow hospitals to build capacity to meet growing patient demand.

“We have an ageing population and more people with complex and chronic conditions who may require care in a hospital,” Dr Hambleton said.

“There is a shortage of public hospital beds.  New funding would allow the hospitals to move patients through the system more quickly and free up emergency and high care beds.

“With appropriate funding, public hospitals are better equipped to reduce waiting times for emergency and elective surgery and provide a well-resourced environment in which to train the next generation of doctors.

“The next graduating class of interns will soon be entering the health system and we need to ensure the resources are there to deliver the medical workforce Australia needs.

“The AMA calls on the Opposition to at least match this funding promise for public hospitals.”

Dr Hambleton said the AMA also welcomes the commitment to provide new funding for cancer care services around the country, and we would now like to see a complementary commitment to primary care infrastructure.

“It is important that we reduce the pressure on our hospitals by keeping people well and out of hospital – and the key to that is providing more support to general practice.”

The AMA wants the next Government to increase funding to GP infrastructure grants by an additional 600 grants at the level of the existing grants, a total cost of $180 million.

This policy and others are detailed in AMA Key Health Issues for the 2013 Federal Election, which is available on the AMA website at

18 August 2013

CONTACT:         John Flannery                       02 6270 5477 / 0419 494 761

                            Kirsty Waterford                  02 6270 5464 / 0427 209 753 

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Published: 18 Aug 2013