Tony Abbott’s hospital bed sums don’t add up

Posted on August 6, 2010

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HEALTH Minister Nicola Roxon says the Coalition’s $3.1 billion plan to fund an additional 2800 hospital beds – 1500 more than Labor – doesn’t add up.

Ms Roxon said the Opposition’s own costings revealed a shortfall of 1000 beds or $500 million.

“We’ve found there’s a great big hole in their costings which means they will only be able to deliver 1000 less beds than they promised or they are half a billion short,” she told Channel 10.

“I don’t think they’ve done the hard yards to establish a proper health policy.”

Ms Roxon said the Coalition’s policy, unveiled by Opposition Leader Tony Abbott yesterday, was a promise to deliver more beds in “the never-never”. It also contained “no investments in nursing, no investments in training extra doctors” while cutting elective surgery and emergency department funding.

But Opposition health spokesman Peter Dutton suggested Ms Roxon was lying.

“The lines that Nicola’s come up with with her spin people overnight just aren’t credible,” he said today.

“We are putting the same amount of money into the emergency departments and we’re putting more beds into public hospitals.”

Ms Roxon and Mr Dutton will square off against each other during a debate on health issues at the National Press Club next Wednesday.

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