Health funding's $1.7bn sore point

TASMANIA will miss out on $1.7 billion over 10 years in health funding starting with ripping the equivalent of 59 hospital beds out from July 1, alarming new Treasury advice shows. 

Premier Will Hodgman is vowing to stop the Commonwealth from implementing the planned cuts, joining with other state premiers to call for an emergency Council of Australian Governments   meeting. 

Mr Hodgman   said yesterday that  the state had been ``blindsided'' by the cuts, which are bigger and hit earlier than first thought. 

``I will not allow the rug to be pulled out from underneath us,'' he said. 

The latest advice reveals that $27 million earmarked for Tasmanian health services in 2014-15 is now dependent on the state meeting unachievable targets on hospital activity and elective surgery waiting times. 

``That's 59 hospital beds, or over 5000 surgical operations that will not happen, and Tasmania would be the poorer for that,'' Mr Hodgman said.  

Under the previous agreement, the state's health funding was protected by a ``no worse off'' guarantee, ensuring that the money would flow even if Tasmania failed to reach the targets. 

Despite the imminent budget shortfall, Mr Hodgman said the Liberals would still deliver on the $400 million worth of spending promises made in the lead-up to the state election.  

Mr Hodgman was speaking in Sydney after attending a crisis meeting with other state premiers after Tuesday's federal budget unveiled the Coalition government's plans to strip $80 billion from health and education funding over 10 years. 

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