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Solid health budget but more funding needed in preventative healthcare


 

27 May 2019

AMA Victoria welcomes significant health funding announced in today’s state budget but calls for more funding in preventative health. 

AMA Victoria President Associate Professor Julian Rait said the overall health funding is impressive but we need to properly resource preventative health. 

“There is a lot of money in this budget dedicated to public hospital infrastructure and this is a very pleasing outcome but we would equally have liked to have seen more investment into measures to keep people out of hospital,” said A/Prof Julian Rait.

“AMA Victoria has been calling for a state-wide obesity strategy because we know the obesity rates are going up and in some regional areas, we’re even seeing life expectancy decline.  We’d really like to see significant investment in measures to prevent obesity, in the same way that we have successfully implemented anti-smoking campaigns over the decades.  If we don’t take a more proactive approach, governments of the future will have a huge burden of disease to contend with.  General practitioners obviously have a central role to play in this space,” said A/Prof Rait. 

A/Prof Rait said AMA Victoria was pleased to see increased funding for palliative care services along with full funding in this budget for Footscray Hospital and 500,000 specialist appointments in regional and rural Victoria.  “Overall, the investment into palliative care is encouraging and we were certainly expecting to see election commitments funded in this state budget which they have been.” 

A/Prof Rait said that whilst there is some investment in mental health and drug and alcohol rehabilitation, the government has obviously decided to wait for the outcomes of the Royal Commission into Mental Health. “The investment into 28 extra inpatient mental health beds is nowhere near what’s needed but we expect the Royal Commission into Mental Health will highlight huge gaps in the system and that significant investment will then flow from government.”

 

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