Leading into the election, Abbott promised no cuts to health. On September 5, 2013, he said:
I can assure your listeners that there will be no cuts to health”
Sadly, he lied.
On December 17, 2013, now safely in government, he broke that promise. According to Catherine King, the Federal member for Ballarat, he announced cuts of $500 million from health and medical research, including:
- $100 million cut from Westmead Hospital.
- $10 million cut from the Children’s Medical Research Institute.
- $12 million cut from the Millennium Institute – one of the largest medical research institutes in Australia working on cancer and leukaemia research, heart disease, eye and brain disease and heart and respiratory disorders.
- $15.1 million cut from the Cancer Care Coordinators program.
- $6 million cut from the Medical Resonance Imaging service at Mt Druitt.
- $10 million cut from the Queensland Cancer Package.
- $15 million cut from from the Flinders Neo-Natal Unit.
- $10 million cut from the Western Australia cancer team.
- $50 million cut from the stroke package.
- $3.5 million cut from the Biala Health Service, the only free sexual-health clinic in Brisbane.
- $100 million cut from the Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital.
And all of these cuts were budgeted for and included in the Pre-Election Economic and Fiscal Outlook.
But not everyone loses. You’ll be pleased to know both Manly Rugby League Club and the Brisbane Broncos will be receiving $15 million, between them. ($10 million for Manly, and $5 million for the Broncos.) Yep, that’s right. Abbott thinks it’s OK to cut $15 million in funding from the Flinders Neo-Natal Unit, and to give that $15 million to a couple of football clubs instead!
Oh, and guess what? Rupert Murdoch owns 68% of the Broncos. Let’s just chalk that one up to a thank-you gift for Rupert’s support during the election… (Remember, Murdoch controls 65% of all capital city and national daily newspapers, which are by far the most influential in setting the news agenda.)