Malcolm Turnbull insists an extra $30 billion for hospitals from 2020 is a generous offer, but many states are yet to be won over.
The commonwealth wants to continue to provide 45 per cent of hospital funding, with growth capped at 6.5 per cent, and will outline the deal to premiers on Friday at the Council of Australian Governments meeting in Canberra.
The proposal matches the arrangement agreed to in April 2016, which put back some money Tony Abbott tried to cut.
“We are presenting a very, very substantial and generous offer on hospital funding,” the prime minister told reporters as he arrived at Parliament House.
But Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews says he can’t support the deal.
“I will not short-change Victorian patients by signing up to an inadequate funding arrangement,” he told reporters in Canberra.
“A partnership should be 50-50. A partnership should be people working together on equal terms.”
South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill also isn’t interested in the offer.
“Given the billions that have been ripped out, there needs to be a commitment for meaningful reform, functional and financial reform, that actually sets us on a new pathway,” he told ABC radio.
“Not just signing some insubstantial document to give the prime minister the illusion of a victory.”
Mr Weatherill said if the federal government can fund company tax cuts, they can find more money for hospitals.
“It’s not a question of money, it’s a question of priorities,” he said.
Asked about the premier’s criticism, Mr Turnbull said: “The structure of (the deal) is entirely consistent with the deal that all of the premiers, including Mr Weatherill, have already signed up to.”
Health Minister Greg Hunt said the commonwealth has given itself a long lead-in period ahead of the 2020 start date for negotiations.