Australia's public hospitals are unsafe, overcrowded and underfunded, resulting in 1,500 unnecessary deaths a year, a national doctors group said on Nov. 12 in a report titled "Public Hospitals Flatlining." The Australian Medical Association (AMA) report said not one public hospital was operating at a safe international occupancy level and the hospital network risked "systematic breakdown." The AMA called on the national government to inject USD 1.9 billion into public hospital funding, warning that hospitals will not cope with the nation's aging population. Cuts in Australian health funding have resulted in hospital bed capacity slashed by 67 percent in the past 20 years. (Reuters)

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