CGHS hospital funding spat

CENTRAL Gippsland Health Service could be facing almost half a million dollars in budget cuts, according to the state government.

The state government has said that the federal government’s changes in funding allocation methods could mean that by March, $465,000 would be removed from CGHS’s budget.

However, federal Health Minister Sussan Ley said this was an improper claim, as Victoria was the only state in the country that was not complying with the national scheme for health funding.

“Victoria was attempting to gain a $73 million windfall at the expense of other states and territories,” she said.

“There is no loss of any monies to public hospitals in Victoria. The Victorian government was claiming for monies for which it was not owed.

“Hospital funding under the Turnbull government continues to go up year on year. In Victoria, funding to public hospitals will increase by 25 per cent over the next four years.”

State Health Minister Jill Hennessy said there had been a change in the way funding was to be allocated.

“Victoria has consistently acted within all the requirements of the funding agreement, and there is no reason why Victoria’s funding allocation should be recalculated,” she said.

“This decision means Malcolm Turnbull will claw back $73 million in health funding from Victoria, leaving hospitals across Victoria facing cuts of millions of dollars to fill this black-hole.”

CGHS said in a statement that it was unsure about how the reported cut would impact on their finances or services.

Chairman Glenn Stagg said he was seeking clarification on the issue.

“We are not aware of how this will impact on our budget at this stage,” he said.

“CGHS, like many sub-regional health services, runs a fine line with its budget and the expectation of a $465,000 funding cut will just make achieving a surplus all the more difficult.”