Australian govt rejects call for more hospital funding


The Australian government on Thursday ruled out additional funding to help hospitals cope with the ongoing Covid-19 outbreaks.

Minister for Health Greg Hunt has rejected a plea from state and territory governments for more money to help the health system survive strains imposed by Australia’s severe wave of coronavirus infections, reports Xinhua news agency.

In a letter to state and territory health ministers, Hunt said the federal government has already increased healthcare funding by A$30 billion ($21 billion) in response to the pandemic.

“The Australian government would warmly welcome it if states and territories were to match the increase in Australian government funding since 2012-2013,” he wrote, according to local media The Age.

“The Australian government has committed more than A$30 billion in additional health expenditure in the response to Covid-19.”

All eight state and territory health ministers wrote to Hunt on September 30 calling for an immediate injection of “crisis funding”, warning that hospitals were facing “unrelenting strain due to the current Covid-19 demands”.

“We are entering the most critical phase of the Covid-19 pandemic response for our hospital systems,” they wrote.

On Thursday, Australia reported more than 2,200 new locally-acquired coronavirus cases as the country continues to battle the third wave of infections.