NSW budget promises to treat 120k more patients

The state’s health spending is set for annual growth of 5.2% to $18.7 billion in 2014–15, but the sum includes $220 million to retain patient services previously funded by the Commonwealth under agreements to expire on 30 June. 

“Actual growth funding is therefore significantly less than 5.2%,” AMA NSW president Dr Saxon Smith said, describing the outcome as disappointing despite the pressure put on the state by Commonwealth cuts.

"In our view, health growth funding needs to increase by approximately 7% per annum in order to maintain the current level of services.”

The AMA had hoped for a larger increase of 9%.

Dr Smith welcomed a $4.4 billion outlay for hospital infrastructure but said the big challenge for public hospitals was still to come.

“The federal cuts hit hardest from July 2017; in health planning terms, 2017 is tomorrow,” he said.

The budget papers don’t