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Country hospitals promised more

Friday, 11th February, 2011


She is expected to abandon a plan drawn up by Kevin Rudd to take back a third of the states' GST in exchange for the commonwealth becoming the dominant funder of hospitals.

Instead, federal and state money will be pooled and paid directly to hospitals through a series of local networks.


 A four-hour target for waiting time at emergency departments could also be dumped.


 Ms Gillard said she expected to settle the new deal based on the dual principles of "equity and efficiency".


 She said state budgets would be overwhelmed by the cost of health care in the long-term unless a new agreement was struck.


 WA Premier Colin Barnett - who was refusing to hand over WA's GST - spoke with Ms Gillard yesterday and said he was hopeful "there can be a health deal".


 The PM said she was concerned about the allocation of hospital beds between urban and rural areas. She was also troubled by cancer rates and figures showing a lower survival rate in the bush.


 "These are at the heart of what I'm thinking about as we work through these reforms," Ms Gillard told parliament. AAP

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