‘Spectacular contradiction’ in Labor’s health talk: Ferguson

Labor has been accused of changing its health policy “on the run”, after Opposition Leader Rebecca White appeared to change the party’s timeline for addressing issues in the health system.

It comes after the Liberals detailed their health policy on Sunday, revealing that they would inject a whopping $757 million into the health system over six years.

Labor has made health the election battleground.

Its own policy is to spend $560 million on health over six years, which would go towards such things as recruiting an additional 500 medical staff and improving hospital infrastructure.

On Monday, Ms White seemed to change the policy by saying Labor was “confident” it could roll out 500 new staff in the party’s first term of government.

In the policy document, there is no mention of a time-frame for the creation of additional jobs.

“We’ve made very conservative estimates about the amount of staff we can engage with the $560 million extra investment in health,” Ms White said.

“I’m confident that we can employ at least an extra 500 staff in the first four years of a Labor government.

“The bulk of Labor’s spending on health will flow immediately.”

Labor criticised the Liberals’ health policy on Sunday, saying much of the money they had pledged would not be spent until after their next term of government.

Health Minister Michael Ferguson said there were “spectacular contradictions” between what Ms White had told media on Monday and what was contained in Labor’s policy document.

“Labor's … policy can't be taken seriously when Ms White is changing it on an hourly basis,” he said.

Mr Ferguson also said Labor had not costed its claim that it would “front-end” its health spend.