News

Rudd questions Abbott's health plans

FORMER Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has called on Opposition Leader Tony Abbott to commit to 50-50 health funding if he is elected to the top job.

Mr Rudd has also questioned whether Mr Abbott had secret plans to withdraw funds from the current Federal Government investments in Medicare Locals, GP Superclinics, preventative health or emergency department upgrades in Queensland's public hospitals.

"Will he withdraw funding from any of those programs which are still on way? If so, which and by how much?" he asked during a Queensland Media Club lunch in Brisbane on Thursday.

"Will he commit to the Commonwealth's 50% contribution to the future health and hospital needs of the country or not?

"This is too important just for politics, it's about fundamental public health and hospital reform to equip this state and country for the future."

Mr Abbott was on a flight from Perth back to the east coast on Thursday afternoon and the questions could not be put to him.

Mr Rudd said the Gillard Government had committed to a Commonwealth-State agreement where each would provide half the required funding for health services around the country.

He said that figure would be reached by 2017 but more than a billion dollars invested in the past five years was already evident in "virtually every hospital, every region, in every party of the country whether the political seats are held by the Labor party, Liberal party or the National party".

"It is absolutely fundamental for the future of the public hospital system, which is the backbone of the Australian medical system, for these institutions to remain world class," he said.

"That required cold-hard cash and the predictability of those cash flows into the future."

Queensland Treasurer Tim Nicholls, in a release that went out Thursday morning, said the Gillard Government had cut at least $342 million from health to 2015-16 and was prepared to "rip-off Queensland cancer patients in a desperate bid to save his budget".

Mr Nicholls made the comments amid suggestions the Federal Government was considering amending the Minerals Resource Rent Tax to limit refunds mining companies could claim against state royalties.

He said the Federal Government, in its mid-year economic forecast, had cut $174 million in payments to Queensland in 2012-13 and $756 million in 2015-16.

Topics:  kevin rudd tony abbott



Driver gets jail after pursuit ends in flames on the M1

YOU'RE FIRED: A car burns on Pacific Motorway at Wooyung after police deployed road spikes to end a pursuit that began at South Grafton.

Jail time for teen who led police on car chase.

Competition winner to be revealed

Mt Marino scenic rim sunset. I Am Summer photographic competition entry.

Judges to decide winner of I Am Summer photographic competition

FNC athletes lead way for three-peat

Anthea Warne and Shaylla Young of Cudgen Headland SLSC celebrate Country's win.

They both will go on to have a career in surf life saving

Local Partners

First the Onesie, now an Xbox One S inflatable controller

Fancy an inflatable Xbox One S controller?

Inflatable controller 'perfect sidekick' for Australia Day party

Sarah Harris: Here’s what Amber Sherlock should’ve done

Studio 10 and Shark Tank presenter Sarah Harris.

STUDIO 10 host says Sherlock could’ve avoided the subsequent uproar.

Amber Heard 'smitten' with Elon Musk

Amber Heard

ACTRESS is reportedly excited about going public with new boyfriend

New doco argues ‘OJ Simpson is innocent, and I can prove it’

O.J. Simpson

NEW documentary series claims to have found “missing evidence".

Sunny days ahead for cult 1980's rockers

SUNNY SIDE UP: Tweed's favourite sons the Sunnyboys are back on the road in 2017.

The Sunnyboys are back and ready to rock

REVIEW: Undressed is more than titilating entertainment

Nathan and Tahlia meet for the first time on the TV series Undressed.

'DIVERSE' dating show goes more than skin deep.

Historical home leaves family's hands after 75 years

SALE CONFIRMED: The Gympie Regional   Realty team which sold the Ramsey property are (back) Mel Gastigar, Dorothy Palmer and Margaret Cochrane, with (front) home seller Terri-Jayne Ramsey.

Ramsey family played a huge role in Gympie's growth.

Pat Rafter's $18m Coast home proves hot property

PAT'S PAD: The Sunshine Beach home of tennis ace Pat rafter is on the market for a record price.

"It's a record for our company and for the Sunshine Coast.''

Ocean views of Coolangatta

1405/3 McLean Street, Coolangatta

Check out this week's feature property.

INTERACTIVE MAP: Which Northern Rivers towns boomed in 2016?

BOOM TOWNS: While Ballina properties continued to attract top dollar in 2016, it was areas to the south that experienced price hikes, including Wardell, Evans Head and Woodburn.

Click on our map to find the median sale price in your town

Expansion plan pays off

Mark Stapleton, Sharon Styman and Peter Ross from Investrent Property Management are going from strength to strength after opening an office in Murwillumbah.

Murwillumbah move a winner for property management team

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!