Mary Wooldridge MP

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Daniel Andrews half-hearted health budget

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

At a glance

Daniel Andrews has backed down on his promise to build major health infrastructure for Victoria with only 52 per cent of the funding provided to deliver his election commitments.

Andrews completely failed to fund the Maroondah Breast Cancer Centre and Aikenhead Centre for Medical Discovery, provided only 10 per cent of funding for the Victorian Heart Hospital that he had promised to have opened by 2018, and funded less than 2.5 per cent of the cost of the expansion of Casey Hospital.

In addition, despite promising to “rescue beds”, only 6 per cent of beds identified in the Labor’s Travis Review have been funded by their Beds Rescue Fund.

Regional Victorians have been snubbed by Daniel Andrews, with no funding for the Rural Health Capital Support Fund and Bush Nursing Support Grants, ending this important way to strengthen and sustain our rural and regional health facilities. Health Condition Support Grants have also been axed.

The health sector has expressed deep concern about the absence of any health ICT funding in the budget, which is needed to improve patient outcomes by ensuring that GPs have access to timely and secure patient information.

The Andrews Government has chosen to cease funding for loved and successful community based preventative health program, Healthy Together Victoria. This program was run by the State Government and included Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food and initiatives to tackle obesity, tobacco and harmful alcohol use.

The Health Minister Jill Hennessy has also failed to support thousands of Victorians to access oral care with a 20 percent cut to Dental Concessions.  Vulnerable people will consequently find it harder to access these services.  

Jill Hennessy also fails to commit to introducing Real Time Prescription Monitoring, with a small amount of funding for more planning, rather than a commitment to implement this life saving approach.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Health, Mary Wooldridge:

“This budget lacks vision for the future delivery of Health Services and the health and wellbeing of Victorians.

“Only half of the funding to build Health infrastructure has been provided in this budget, despite claims of comprehensively delivering on Labor’s election commitments.

“Daniel Andrews’ so called ‘Beds Rescue Fund’ only funds 6 per cent of the Travis Report’s missing beds, making it more about spin than reality.”

To see the 2015-2016 Victorian State Budget papers go to http://http://www.dtf.vic.gov.au/Publications/State-Budget-publications/2015-16-State-Budget/2015-16-Budget-Papers

Media contact: Bridie Allanadale 0425 703 166

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