Health budget cuts threaten drug and alcohol services

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Tuesday’s federal budget was billed as an uninteresting affair even before it was unveiled. When the papers were finally tabled the budget was being sold as a “have a go” document. Even a new type of voter was created – ‘Tony’s Tradies’ – as a result of the government’s new small business policy. But there were some hidden nasties in the budget, most notably in the health area. The biggest total cut is simply called ‘Rationalising and Streamlining Health Programs’ at $962 million and it has drug and alcohol treatment providers worried about the future of their services.

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