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Australian Government Withholds WA Health Funds
Source: http://www.abc.net.au/
Source Date: Thursday, July 01, 2010
Country: Australia
Created: Jul 05, 2010

The Australian Government is withholding millions of dollars of funding from Western Australia because it has not signed a new health agreement.

The other states and territories will today begin receiving extra money for their health systems.

Earlier this year the Federal Government offered the states and territories billions of dollars in extra money for health if they signed a new funding agreement.

Western Australia refused because it does not want to give up control of its GST revenue.

The Health Minister Nicola Roxon had indicated she may bypass the WA Government and send the money directly to hospitals.

But a spokesman says that is not possible and the Commonwealth has vowed to withhold $AU350 million for emergency departments and elective surgery procedures until WA signs on.

Efforts to negotiate a compromise appear to have stalled in recent weeks and the dispute looks likely to continue for some time.

The WA Government wrote to the Commonwealth last month suggesting ways to resolve the dispute, but it hasn't heard back.

The other states and territories are expected to use their extra cash to improve aged care services, provide more doctors and nurses and more hospital beds.
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