Ipswich MP Jennifer Howard in front of Ipswich Hospital.
Ipswich MP Jennifer Howard in front of Ipswich Hospital. Rob Williams

Governments feud over hospital funding

Almost $3 million has been "ripped out" of Ipswich Hospital's budget by the federal government, Ipswich MP Jennifer Howard has warned, amid a push by the state government to reclaim $156m of "cuts" to Queensland Health.

A spokesperson for federal Health Minister Greg Hunt categorically rejected the claims and said federal funding to the hospital had increased dramatically in recent years, rising from $69 million in 2012-13 to $122 million in 2016-17.

"Interestingly, since the Palaszczuk Government was elected their contribution to the West Moreton hospital network has only increased by 5%," the spokesperson said.

"The assertion that there are funding cuts to Ipswich Hospital and more broadly across Queensland is a fallacy."

Ms Howard said that the uncertainty of federal funding was putting added pressure on the hospital and its staff.

"Our hospitals and health centres are already competing with rising demand, and the continued funding shortfall isn't helping," she said.

"The Commonwealth needs to make good with their commitments and stop ripping money from the front line."

Queensland Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Steven Miles said $156 million was being "ripped out" of the budgets of hospitals across Queensland over three years, and claimed the federal government would "claw back" funding for a range of surgeries such as cataract procedures and hip replacements from as far back as 2016.

"The charts are closed, the patients discharged, and the money's been spent, but the Morrison Government doesn't want to pay the bill for the work our doctors and nurses have already done and that will mean fewer services this year," Minister Miles said.

The spokesperson for Minister Hunt insisted the federal government had maintained funding for the Queensland's health system.

"This week the Queensland government had an additional $381.9 million put in their bank accounts for public hospital funding, from the federal Liberal National Government, taking the total received to over $4 billion for 2016-17," the spokesperson said.

"The additional funding was made based on the advice of two independent umpires - the Independent Hospital Pricing Authority and the Administrator of the National Health Funding Body."

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