Baird and Skinner's Blackmail to Patients

After four years of slashing $3 billion from NSW Health, the NSW Liberals and Nationals – on the eve of the election – are desperately blackmailing the community by saying their extravagant promises will only happen if they sell the electricity network.

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Shadow Minister for Health Walt Secord said, "No hospital upgrade or promise to improve our health system should be made contingent on electricity privatisation. That is blackmail: plain and simple."

“The community does not want electricity privatisation and the NSW Liberals and Nationals are linking the sale to health. That is blackmail.

“After four years of long waits for elective surgery, long waits in emergency departments, fewer beds, trolley block, a lack of maternity beds and a stretched health system with over worked doctors, nurses and health professionals, the Liberals and Nationals are now discovering the crisis in health that they have created,” Mr Secord said.

“In addition, the Liberals and Nationals have allowed Tony Abbott to slash $15 billion from health. The total of $18 billion in cuts by Tony Abbott and Mike Baird has left NSW hospitals overwhelmed and demonstrate that nothing the Liberals say can be trusted on health.”

“The Central Coast has the longest waits in Australia for elective surgery like knee and hip replacements. A child in western Sydney is waiting for eight months to have their tonsils removed while a child in Brisbane is waiting a month. This is the human face of Liberal and National cuts to health.

“With less than 11 days to the election, the Liberals and Nationals are trying to blackmail the community into supporting electricity privatisation by extravagant promises. That is simply wrong.”

NSW hospitals now have by far the longest waits for elective surgery in the country:

  • Under Mike Baird, a child needing their tonsils out waits an average of 8 months in NSW, but only 3 months in Victoria and 2 months in Queensland (for example 356 day wait at Campbelltown Hospital and 299 days at Nepean Hospital);
  • A senior citizen needing their cataracts out waits an average of 7 months in NSW but 1 month in Victoria and 2 months in Queensland (for example 336 day wait at Sutherland Hospital);
  • The average wait for a knee replacement is 10 months in NSW, double the wait in Victoria and Queensland. (Source: Bureau of Health Information, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare).