01 May 2012
AMA Victoria President Dr Harry Hemley has cautiously welcomed today’s budget.
‘Although we didn’t see everything that we wanted from this budget, we’re pleased that the Government has recognised the needs in rural and regional areas as well as trying to relieve the pressure on Victorian Hospitals.’
‘We welcome the extra funding for acute care contained in today’s budget, particularly the commitment to additional beds in the state’s growth corridors, aged care funding, the expansion of the Franskston Hospital’s Emergency Department and additional mental health services – unfortunately the Budget was also disappointing on a number of other counts’ said Dr Hemley.
The AMA had called for $310 million over four years to bring the state of Victorian hospitals information communication technology up to speed. The budget has announced the Victorian Innovation E-Health and Communications Technology Fund, which AMA Victoria hopes will begin to address this issue.
'Funding to facilitate this vital investment is long overdue'.
In an effort to improve public access to doctors AMA Victoria had asked the Government to provide funding for comprehensive training for all new Victorian doctors.
‘Patient access to health care is currently limited by the lack of doctors in Victoria, particularly within rural and regional communities’
‘By supporting training for the next generation of Victorian doctors, the Government could have ensured that all Victorians would benefit from better access to high quality health care’ said Dr Hemley.
The AMA had also called on the Government to fulfil its election promise of providing $21 million to improve safety in the state’s hospitals.
‘We were hopeful that these funds would have been made available to ensure the safety of patients and workers in our hospitals, unfortunately we didn’t see this in this year’s budget.’
While businesses have welcomed the cut to work cover premiums AMA Victoria stresses the need to ensure that the financial strength and services of WorkSafe are not put at risk by this decision.
Note: For comment on specific budget items please contact Struan Robertson on 0437 450 506.