NSW Labor has pledged to "vigorously" pursue the Berejiklian Government to ensure that it keeps its many promises on health and hospitals - saying the Coalition promises to spend at least $8.4 billion in health and hospital funding
NSW interim Labor leader Penny Sharpe and Shadow Health Minister Walt Secord said they would ensure that NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian would be held to account for her personal promise to fund election commitments in non-government electorates – after her unfortunate threats in Orange on February 6.
During the election campaign, the Berejiklian Government promised at least 33 separate hospital projects including four new hospitals in Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital ($1.3 billion); Rouse Hill ($300 million) in Sydney’s North West; Eurobodalla Hospital ($150 million) on the far South Coast; and a facility at Forster Tuncurry on the mid-North Coast.
They also pledged upgrades to a large number of hospitals including Nepean Hospital ($1 billion) John Hunter Hospital ($780 million); Royal Prince Alfred Hospital ($750 million); Sydney Children’s Westmead ($619 million); Sydney Children’s Randwick ($608 million); Ryde Hospital ($479 million); Shoalhaven Hospital ($434 million); St George Hospital ($385 million); Grafton Base Hospital ($263 million); $215 million for Griffith Base Hospital ($215 million); Manning Base Hospital ($100 million); Sutherland Hospital ($81 million); Ballina District Hospital ($80.4 million); Moree Hospital ($80 million); Cowra Hospital ($70 million); Hornsby-Ku-ring-gai Hospital ($65 million); Bowral Hospital ($55 million); Gunnedah ($53 million); Glen Innes Hospital ($20 million); Deniliquin Hospital ($3.2 million) and Leeton Hospital ($2.5 million).
In addition, they promised an ambulance station at Illuka ($10 million) and car parks at Liverpool ($50 million); Concord ($32 million); Dubbo ($30 million); Wagga Wagga ($30 million); and Shellharbour ($23 million) hospitals.
NSW Labor said it hoped to see elective surgery lists drop significantly as the Liberals and Nationals promised to remove 10,000 cataract patients and 8,000 children from the waiting lists. Currently, it is at an all-time high of more than 80,000 with more than half outside Sydney.
The Liberals and Nationals promised:
- 5,000 extra nurses and mid-wives, 1060 more doctors, 880 additional allied health staff; 750 additional paramedics and more than 1,360 extra hospital support staff - and other staff as part of a $2.8 billion package; $145 million for palliative care;
- $42 million in rebates for pre-IVF fertility testing and other treatments $23 million for Lifeline and Kids Helpline; $21.7 million for tele-health measures in rural and regional areas; $10.4 million for new cancer treatments; $9.6 million for provide better access to services for people with eating disorders; and $4.6 million to fund programs to fight food allergies.
On March 21, NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard announced that the Liberals and Nationals would provide a “record $8.4 billion state-wide health infrastructure”.
Ms Sharpe and Mr Secord made an unwavering commitment to oppose the Liberal-National hospital privatisation agenda – as during the last term, they only opened one new hospital and it was the beleaguered Northern Beaches Hospital.
Ms Sharpe said: “NSW families deserve world class health and hospital services and the Liberals and Nationals must be held to account for their promises.
“We have a health and hospital system which lurches from crisis to crisis – and patients deserve better.”
Mr Secord said: “For NSW Labor, work on the campaign for the 2023 State election has already begun. The Liberals and Nationals made many, many promises and we will be keeping a tally to ensure that they deliver on them. The day after the State election, I printed out every single one of the Liberals and Nationals promises and tabulated them. I promise that I will be tireless in my efforts to ensure they honour each and every promise.”