Recently articles have appeared in the local media that suggest that our local health service, Bass Coast Health, has received a funding boost of 6.7 per cent to $33.79 million and this is attributed to a statement by the health minister.
While overall funding has been increased to this level, once you look behind the headline number it is clear that it is not as good as it looks.
The quoted figure includes a range of new services not previously provided/funded and other increased activity funding; in other words the health service is being provided with funds to provide more services. Once you exclude these additional services, the underlying increase in funding to cover general cost increases as a result of inflation (CPI adjustments) is I understand a mere 1.6 per cent.
With inflation running at 3.2 per cent and even higher in the rural health sector, there is actually a funding cut for existing services in real terms.
This follows a number of years of similar “cuts” and may explain why the health service apparently has great difficulty balancing its budget.
I wonder how many commercial businesses would remain in business with such a strategy?
John Turner, Inverloch.