HEALTH HEIST?

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WANGARATTA public hospital’s cancer patients stand to miss out on almost $1 million in funding according to claims by the Victorian Labor Government that it has been short changed health funding. PHOTO: Emma Hillier

THE plight of Wangaratta public hospital’s cancer patients and a loss of almost $1 million in funding has sparked a war of words between state and federal governments.

Victoria’s Labor Government is claiming it has been short changed $104 million in health funding from its federal counterparts statewide, a burden that will come home to roost next financial year.

The government says a $966,000 void is expected to hit Northeast Health Wangaratta (NHW) in next year’s budget due to the unbalanced ledger, indicating it could affect treatment of cancer patients.

However, Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt has denied the claims, accusing the Victorian Government of lying, and Premier Daniel Andrews of trying to “scaremonger vulnerable cancer patients”.

The state says the funding gap goes back to payments in 2015/16, which it says it has covered since.

It says $104 million is equivalent to 100,222 more chemotherapy procedures, 212,964 extra dialysis sessions for sick patients, more than 650 extra nurses, and 54,104 colonoscopies.

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