Minister knew of hospital funding crisis, kept community in the dark

The Labor Government knew it would run out of money for the Canberra Hospital almost five months ago, it was revealed in Public Accounts Committee hearings today.

Canberra Health Services confirmed the government knew the hospital was running at least a $35 million deficit at the beginning of the second quarter of the 2019-20 financial year. The figure is now predicted to be $60 million.

“For five months Minister Rachel Stephen Smith knew that the hospital would run out of money, but this tired old government deceitfully left the community in the dark,” Mrs Dunne said.

“Canberrans pay more than any other jurisdiction for health care and that price is going up.

“Labor’s chronic inability to manage money is putting patients at increased risk.

“When you can’t manage money, you can’t strategically invest in health services Canberrans need,” Mrs Dunne said.

Government officials also confirmed that some health managers “may have” banned the use of post-it notes and colour printing to save money, despite Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith previously denying this was the case.

“ACT Labor is entirely responsible for Canberra’s health crisis,” Mrs Dunne said.

“It’s clear that Canberra cannot entrust ACT Labor with their health care.

“Canberrans will only get more of the same from Labor. Canberra cannot afford more of the same. There is a better way,” Mrs Dunne said.