Government delivers good budget for rural health
Wednesday 27 April 2016
“The 2016-17 Victorian Budget is a good budget for rural health. The Government has announced $200m for a Regional Health Infrastructure Fund, which will lead to vast improvements to the state’s regional and rural health services” AMA Victoria President, Dr Tony Bartone, said this afternoon.
“Rural and regional health funding will be directed throughout the state, including to Shepparton, Gippsland, Horsham, Warragul and Port Fairy. The AMA’s pre-budget submission called for significant funding for rural health – today’s budget is a great outcome,” Dr Bartone said.
The AMA is very pleased to see our other budget priorities met with funding – in particular, $335m for elective surgery: this is very important as Victorians are waiting too long for surgery.
Similarly, the $30m for real-time prescription monitoring (RTPM) is a long overdue policy announcement. The AMA, along with the Coroners Court, has been calling for RTPM for many, many years. RTPM will enable doctors and pharmacists to know if patient has already been prescribed a drug of dependence, such as diazepam. RTPM will stop ‘doctor shopping’ and reduce the misuse, abuse and high number of fatal overdoses from prescription drugs.
“This is a good health budget for Victorians and the AMA looks forward to working with the Government as these health projects get underway.
“We are disappointed, however, that it is another Victorian budget that sidesteps health IT. The hospital-general practice IT interface needs significant investment. The fact that every GP clinic relies on faxes is unacceptable. Proper health IT funding must be addressed,” Dr Bartone said.
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