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AMA Victoria welcomes new spending in health

7 May 2013

AMA Victoria welcomes the state government’s commitment to health in today’s budget.

“Today’s announcements address a number of key areas identified by AMA Victoria to ensure Victorians have access to high quality and affordable public health care”, AMA Victoria President Dr Stephen Parnis said today.

“This budget has allocated funding to target current constraints in the Victorian health sector including medical training, public hospital capacity and service delivery.

“However, we were concerned that the Government today remained silent on a number of simple and effective initiatives such as implementing a real time prescription drug monitoring system, greater support for Psychiatric Crisis Assessment and Treatment (CAT) Teams and prisoner health services.

“We were pleased that the Government has made a significant investment in the future of the medical workforce in Victoria through additional funding for new training positions for first and second year doctors as well as for additional rural general proceduralists. This spending is vital to ensure that our hospitals can meet the growing demand for health services in both metropolitan and rural Victoria.

AMA Victoria also welcomes:

  • $772 million to boost critical care capacity in intensive care units and maternal and neonatal care
  • $421 million to address elective surgery waiting lists, a major concern for Victorians waiting for treatment
  • additional mental health funding particularly the acute mental health facility at Werribee Mercy Hospital.

“However, we were hoping to see additional investment in CAT teams to provide much needed mental health treatment and support in the community and which would simultaneously ease the pressure on our public hospitals”, Dr Parnis said.

Many CAT teams do not receive the funding necessary to provide 24 hour support and even during operational hours are often unable to attend to patients in need.

“Importantly, the Government’s capital investment in Victorian public hospitals will build much-needed capacity into the state hospital system”, Dr Parnis said.

Major investments include the Waurn Ponds Community Hospital, Northern Hospital extension, Werribee Mercy Hospital mental health facilities and funding to update and replace public hospital medical equipment.

For further information contact:
Bryce Prosser
Director, Policy and Public Affairs
Mobile: 0437 450 506

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