Ian Taylor

Ian Taylor

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    Funding hole detected in Opposition's health plan

    11/01/1993 12:00 AM
     
     
    A quarter of a billion dollar funding hole has been identified in the Opposition's health plan.
     
    Deputy Premier and Health Minister Ian Taylor said the funding shortfall represented more than one quarter of Western Australia's public hospital annual budget.
     
    "The Opposition is tied to Fightback and under Fightback at least $130 million will be ripped out of public hospital funding to WA, creating huge uncertainty over the future of health care in this State," Mr Taylor said.
     
    "They also accept the Commonwealth Grants Commission suggestion that WA is spending more than it should on health services - that is another $116 million which will disappear from health funding."
     
    Mr Taylor said that Fightback was predicated on the basis of people taking out private health insurance.
     
    Under the Opposition's proposition, Western Australians faced the grim prospect of losing a quarter of its public hospital funding and having to pay considerably more for their health care.  They would also be forced to take out private health insurance, which would be unfair to many Western Australians. 
     
    "I personally can afford private health insurance but can the average Western Australian?  I think not, because it will cost, on average cover, nearly $1,400 a year.  With the Opposition also wanting people to take out ancillary benefits to cover dental care - which would bump it up to more than $1,500.  That is more than $30 a week extra families will have to find."
     
    Mr Taylor said claims that the State's health system was inefficient were clearly wrong.
     
    "WA in fact has one of the most efficient health systems in the nation - a comprehensive analysis of health costs published in the `Australian Health Jigsaw' shows that WA's spending is $83 million below the national average and when compared with New South Wales, which is $539 million above the average, WA fares extremely well."
     
    Mr Taylor said the Opposition health policy also showed signs of the Kennett factor creeping in, with enterprise-based agreements hidden away on page two of their statement.  Mr Kennett's policy of giving workers a choice of industrial system did not count for much after the election.