It was a positive Queensland Premier who returned to Brisbane today after two days of health reform talks in Canberra.
While Western Australia still refuses to join in the other states and territories have signed up for the health overhaul.
Vanessa Croll reports.
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If it survives Parliament, money from Kevin Rudd’s ambitious health reform should start flowing through the states at the beginning of July this year.
Anna Bligh, Qld Premier: “it means 270 more beds, it means better emergency departments and it means faster elective surgery.”
When compared to the current nine billion dollars already in Queensland’s annual health budget, 755 million dollars spread over the next four years seems like a drop in the ocean.
But the premier says the difference will be noticeable if used to plan.
Anna Bligh, Qld Premier: “If you target those trends in those pressure point areas, it will make a difference.”
It didn’t all go to plan for Kevin Rudd though as the proposed funds will pass through the states before reaching local hospital networks.
Kevin Rudd, Prime Minister: “What we’ve agreed to is a joint state, commonwealth statutory body which becomes the payment authority.”
Anna Bligh, Qld Premier: “probably one of the most significant shifts in commonwealth state relations in decades.”
All States and Territories have all signed on except Western Australia.
It won’t agree to forfeit one third of its GST revenue.
Colin Barnett, WA Premier: “We’re not about to hand over the ability to manage our own affairs.”
The Federal Government will keep trying.
Nicola Roxon, Federal Health Minister: “We believe that we can continue in constructive negotiations with the West Australians.”
On a national level, the reform plans to provide 1,300 new beds, 2,500 new aged care beds, 20,000 young people access to additional mental health services and 6,000 new doctors.
Vanessa Croll, QUT News