New South Wales Shadow Minister for Health Jillian Skinner
Keneally Labor Government Fails To Close The Gap On Aboriginal Health
Victor P Taffa
Despite signing the Close The Gap agreement in Parliament a week ago, Premier Kristina Keneally was unable to explain in Question Time why she underspent the Aboriginal Health Budget last year and failed to meet key health performance indicators, Shadow Minister for Health Jillian Skinner said today.
Budget Papers reveal the Aboriginal Health Services budget was underspent by $4.6 Million.
Meanwhile, the target to reduce potentially avoidable deaths for Aboriginal people aged <75 to 341 persons per 100,000 of population was not met.
“Kristina Keneally was unable to explain why she failed to spend the allocation given to Aboriginal Health while at the same time failing to meet targets to reduce unnecessary deaths in Aboriginal persons.” Mrs Skinner said.
“It’s one thing to sign the Close The Gap agreement, but it’s another to actually follow through with action.”
“As usual Kristina Keneally is there for the photo opportunity, but has failed when it comes to delivering better health services and better health outcomes.”
“Kristina Keneally is all lights, camera, but no action.” Mrs. Skinner said.
“The fact the Keneally Labor Government failed to meet its targets for potentially avoidable Aboriginal deaths and didn’t spend all the funds available for Aboriginal Health speaks volumes about Labor’s incompetence.”
“It is disingenuous of Kristina Keneally to pretend she is concerned about Aboriginal Health and then fail to spend the funds available in the NSW Budget.” Mrs. Skinner said.
“Kristina Keneally is more concerned with her media image.”
“A NSW Liberals & Nationals Government is determined to close the gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal residents in NSW.” Mrs Skinner said.
The same lack of expenditure on Mental Health runs with that on Aboriginal Health. This is a sad indictment on a Government that has outlived its use-by date.