‘Do more’: Health staff told to work harder to save $1b

 

Nurses and doctors have been told to work harder to achieve the Palaszczuk Government's proposed $1 billion in health cuts.

Treasurer Cameron Dick said Queensland Health would simply "do more" with the funding it already gets in order for Labor to afford to hire the 9000 extra doctors, nurses and allied health staff it's promised this campaign.

The explanation came a day after Mr Dick was asked to detail how QH would make the $270 million a year in savings it needs to afford its signature health policy but could not.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk listens to Treasurer Cameron Dick on a campaign visit in Mackay. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk listens to Treasurer Cameron Dick on a campaign visit in Mackay. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled

Mr Dick yesterday said a 2 per cent productivity dividend contained in Labor's costings document wasn't about clawing back money, despite saying a day before that QH would need to make at least $270 million a year in savings to meet its efficiency dividend.

"So we ask Queensland Health, for example, in a hospital to do 100 endoscopies," he said yesterday while campaigning with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk in Mackay.

"A 2 per cent efficiency means for the same amount of money they do 102.

" … It might be looking at workflows and funding new workflow systems to ensure people can do their work more efficiency and of course that's what Queenslanders expect. If we're putting $19 billion into the health system they expect every dollar to count and we've done that for five years."

On Monday, the Treasurer said the total health budget was $16 billion.

"The money is not clawed back, the money is taken, is achieved, through better productivity and better outcomes," he said.

Queensland Health has been asked to make $270 million in productivity savings per year for the next four years. Picture: iStock
Queensland Health has been asked to make $270 million in productivity savings per year for the next four years. Picture: iStock

"So we provide set money for activities principally medical procedures and we ask hospitals to do more with that, 2 per cent more, and that's what we should do."

Mr Dick said QH had been meeting is productivity dividend for the past five years.

"You just ask the staff to do a little bit more with what they have," he said.

"That improves outcomes for Queenslanders, it makes the system more efficient and that's what we've done every year for five years."

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Mr Dick earlier muddled up costings in an interview with ABC Radio, saying that Labor's commitment to hire 2025 extra police would be paid for through a "combination" of government revenue and borrowings.

The costing document shows that the first four years of the hirings will be entirely paid for through borrowings, with the fifth year not yet funded.

He also said 6190 new teachers and 1139 new teacher aides would be funded through a "combination" of recurrent revenue and borrowings, despite the document showing they will be paid for out of the Education Department's existing budget, rather than the $4 billion in borrowings announced by Labor to fund its election promises.

 

 

Originally published as 'Do more': Health staff told to work harder to save $1b