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With a month until the election Vic Coalition releases opaque Health Capital + Resources Plan and Labor Party releases two health policies…

Thursday 30 October 2014

Victoria’s political parties are following their national counterparts and failing to release full and detailed health policies prior to the upcoming election.

“AMA Victoria wants to know what each party will focus on if they’re elected on November 29, and importantly how they will do it,” AMA Victoria President, Dr Tony Bartone said.

Health Capital and Resources Plan

“The Victorian Coalition today released the long-overdue Health Capital and Resources Plan –it was supposed to be released three years ago.

"While many of the statements and intentions for the future of Victoria's Health System are worthy, they are very broad and lack the detail that should have been provided.

"The “Building for the Future” section of this Plan reads like a checklist of already announced or completed projects with only general and opaque statements as to what the current government will address when it comes to future projects.

"It is disappointing to see a lack of detailed planning for the future of the Victorian health system.

"However, we are pleased to see that some of the projects funded through the long-awaited Innovation, eHealth and Communications Technology Fund are for the implementation of electronic medical record functionality including medication management, secure transfer of digital medical images and utilisation of the national individual health identifier to improve continuity of care and information," Dr Bartone said.

Labor’s health policies

“We welcome Labor's pre-election investment today to protect healthcare workers, but these protections must be extended to health workers in the community – such as GPs and emergency responders. Today’s funding commitment is limited to capital upgrades for hospitals and mental health services.

“With a month until the Victorian Election, we certainly hoped that both the Coalition and the Labor Party would have released their health election platform by now. Instead, we get heralding one page statements.

“The AMA wants more than press releases – we want expansive, evidence-based and costed health policies than will greatly benefit the healthcare of Victorians.

“Labor’s announcements today on nurse:patient ratios and initiatives to overcome hospital violence fail to provide voters with a comprehensive understanding of how Labor will overcome the Victorian health system’s major deficiencies. The Coalition has done no better.

“We want to know how each party will:

- Continue to improve elective surgery waiting timesρ

- If and when they will commit to a date to ban smoking in outdoor dining areas (we are the only state that hasn’t)ρ

- Overhaul archaic hospital IT systems. The fact that hospitals, general practices and nursing homes still rely on faxes is beyond comprehension. We need the government to invest in eHealth.

- Provide greater junior doctor training positions to overcome the current bottleneck which sees many junior doctors miss out on training positions. This includes the state taking responsibility for the Prevocational General Practice Placements Program (PGPPP), as failing to do so will substantially reduce the number of GP training places and in turn the number of Australian-trained GPs.

“We call on both the Victorian Coalition and Labor Party to respond to what the polls say is one of Victorians’ greatest concerns: health,” Dr Bartone said.




Media contact
Felicity Ryan
Australian Medical Association Victoria
Mobile: 0437 450 506

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