Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison are preparing to ditch Tony Abbott’s massive cuts to state hospital funding, The Australian reports today.
The paper said sources insisted the deal was not finalised, but the states are confident they will be offered a four-year hospital funding agreement to 2020 based on the original formula agreed under the Gillard Labor Government.
The pair met at the PM’s mansion in Sydney yesterday without officials, after a week in which Mr Turnbull brought forward the Budget by a week without telling Mr Morrison.
After the cuts were announced in the 2014 Budget, SA Health Minister Jack Snelling said the decision to axe the national partnerships agreement and renege on the national health reform agreement would cost SA about $600 million.
Mr Snelling said the state faced a “full-blown crisis” because of the cuts and the State Government subsequently announced the Transforming Health project, which has led to a series of controversial decisions and closures.
Senior clinicians from major hospitals across Adelaide have signed letters condemning parts of the Transforming Health blueprint.
It was not known last night how axing the cuts would affect the SA reforms, or whether the State Government would consider rolling back some of the cuts.
Premier Jay Weatherill and Mr Snelling could not be contacted for comment.
The Australian said the new agreement would be tied to a revolutionary tax reform proposal under which the states would be offered a share of income tax beyond 2020 to fund health and education.
Story via The Australian