Springborg calls for more federal health funding

A lack of long-term federal government funding could threaten Queensland’s health system, according to the state health minister.

Lawrence Springborg said the federal Ggovernment needed to do more than just fund the initial start-up costs for health programs.

“What we are seeing with regard to a range of projects which have been developed in Queensland is that the Commonwealth government is very happy to come forward with some of the seed money, but then a little bit further down the track it pulls the rug out from under the state,” Mr Springborg said in parliament yesterday.

Shadow minister for health Jo-Ann Miller had sought assurances the regional cancer centres program being established in Bundaberg and Townsville was safe from future cuts.

Mr Springborg said very important health care projects would “continue to be rolled out in this state – absolutely, 100 percent”.

However Mr Springborg wasted no time in blaming the Opposition for its handling of the health payroll system while in government as a reason the health sector was suffering.

“There are some significant challenges which Queensland Health is facing in regard to meeting some of its commitments for capital upgrades and maintenance. We will be hearing about that as the week goes by,” he said.

The Health Minister said the missing $1.25 billion could save jobs in the health sector.

“It is a situation that is causing us to review our budget for Queensland Health. Not only that, we are having to look at doing it at the expense of jobs in Queensland,” he said.

Over the last few days Mr Springborg has demanded Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk fully release cabinet documents regarding legal advice the former government received at the time of the payroll bungle.

The documents currently reside with the Crown Solicitor and cannot be made public.

“Without these documents, there is no hope of a legal challenge over the payroll disaster. The chance that some missing funds may be recovered through legal action hangs in the balance,” he said.

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