PATIENTS seeking treatment at the Shoalhaven Hospital emergency department will not have to pay co-payment fees according to the state government.
Member for South Coast Shelley Hancock said the government will not implement a co-payment for patients accessing emergency departments.
Treasurer Joe Hockey announced a $7 co-payment fee to visit a doctor in Tuesday night’s budget - a move Mrs Hancock is fearful will lead to an increase in patients trying to access treatment and avoid the new payment.
“Patients will continue to come first under the NSW Liberal and Nationals government,” she said.
“There will be no co-payment for emergency department patients and no cuts to hospital services.
“The government will not implement a co-payment for patients accessing our emergency departments at Shoalhaven or Milton hospitals or any hospital across NSW.
“There will be no cuts to hospital services. We have invested a record amount in health, with a recurrent budget of $17.9 billion this year – up 5.2 per cent over previous year and 15 per cent since the 2011 state election.
“There is no doubt there have been significant cuts to the funding of state hospitals in the federal government’s budget.
“It is cost-shifting and NSW will have to accommodate a loss of more than $1 billion over the forward estimates for hospital services.
“NSW Health Minister, Jillian Skinner has spoken to the federal health minister and advised him of the government’s concerns. We are committed to looking at options as part of our integrated care strategy to ensure South Coast patients are getting the right treatment in the right setting at the right time.”