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The AMA applauds Labor's election commitment to reveal public hospital bed numbers

Sunday 10 August

AMA Victoria applauds the Victorian Labor Party's commitment to publish public hospital bed numbers, if elected into Government come November.

"Releasing public hospital bed numbers is an important health policy, and it is unacceptable that we currently do not know how many beds each public hospital has," AMA Victoria President, Dr Tony Bartone, said this morning.

"The AMA wants the Victorian Government (current and future) to release information detailing how many public hospital beds are available, their location, type of bed and their occupancy rate. This information must be published regularly so we can ascertain if beds have been closed or indeed opened at a particular hospital.

"Transparency is paramount in healthcare. If hospital efficiency is to improve, we need to know how many beds each hospital has.

"This information will also enable patients to make informed decisions about their healthcare.

"The necessity of publishing public hospital bed numbers was detailed in AMA Victoria's election manifesto, which has been shared with the Coalition, Labor and the Greens. We welcome Labor's commitment today and call on the other parties to address the same issue," Dr Bartone said.

However, all pre-election commitments must be carried out once in Government. Neither the Coalition nor Labor have a solid track record in this space. We are still waiting for the Coalition to release outpatient waiting lists (as promised on 16 June 2010). Similarly, in 1999, Labor promised to regularly publish comparative data about hospitals including waiting lists - this was not fulfilled under the Bracks and Brumby years. Political parties must stop disregarding the Victorians who vote for parties' health policies.

Media contact: Felicity Ryan 0437 450 506

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