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NSW will lose more than $150 million in funding for vital health services in a series of federal government cutbacks.
People in western Sydney will be hardest hit with Westmead Hospital losing $100 million over three years.
The Children's Medical Research Institute and the Westmead Millennium Institute also lose tens of millions of dollars, the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook released on Tuesday showed.
Chief executive of the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association Alison Verhoeven said patients would suffer.
''This is bad news for public hospital patients,'' she said.
''It denies them the latest and best technology and infrastructure, and it will cause some 'access block' to over-crowded facilities.''
She said the fact ''priority health initiatives'' had been cut from areas of social need was particularly concerning. ''These are areas with a substantial number of people of relatively low income who have a strong reliance on public health services,'' she said. Other cuts included $22 million for upgrades to the ageing St George Hospital, and $6 million for medical resonance imaging services at Mt Druitt.
The state government said it was never expecting the money, much of which was promised and budgeted for immediately before the election by the Labor government.
''These were smoke and mirrors promises from Labor, completely hollow with no budgeted funding behind them,'' Health Minister Jillian Skinner said. ''It is reminiscent of NSW Labor's unfunded promises to upgrade Blacktown, Campbelltown, Tamworth and Wagga Wagga hospitals before the state election; there was no money.''
Australian Medical Association NSW head Brian Owler said he had not expected the money for Westmead would come through, but it, and much more, was needed.
Federal Labor health spokeswoman Catherine King said some of the promised money cut, such as funding for dental training, had been in place long before the election.
''The fact is that this government has made the choice not to continue this funding,'' she said. ''They have clearly abandoned their election promise not to cut funding from frontline health services, it is entirely hypocritical to say health is immune from cuts and then do something like this.
''This is clearly a sign of what's to come in [the budget in] May.''
Before the election, Prime Minster Tony Abbott said the Coalition planned to ''maintain existing levels of funding''.
''We are about preserving front-line health services, preserving and improving frontline health services,'' he said.
His health policy document also criticised Labor for cutting funding in a ''shock announcement'' in the last mid-year fiscal outlook.
''The cuts were a double blow because they came part way through the financial year … It was another reminder of Labor's dysfunctional approach to managing our health system,'' the policy said.
Amy is Health Editor for The Sydney Morning Herald. Before working at the Herald she worked as a freelance journalist and radio presenter, as well as writing for a number of publications for doctors. She also keeps a health blog at www.dailylife.com.au.