Mary Wooldridge MP is the Shadow Minister for Health
The Andrews Labor Government's last minute palliative care announcement falls well short of matching the Liberal Nationals $140 million commitment and fails to deliver the additional palliative care support Victorians need. Daniel Andrews' funding for home based palliative care is less than a quarter of the Liberal Nationals commitment.
More Victorians received a Code 1 Lights and sirens response in recommended times from Ambulance Victoria in the winter of 2014 than the winter just passed. Daniel Andrews is trying to make his Ambulance Victoria response times appear better by dramatically cutting who is actually eligible to receive a lights and sirens response.
According to the 84 Health Service annual reports released in parliament this week, the rate of occupational violence Victorian health care workers experienced in the last year grew by a startling 33%. There were 567 occupational violence incidents reported at Ambulance Victoria, recording almost no improvement from the previous year.
Victoria's health system is failing to meet elective surgery performance targets while operating theatres sit empty. The Auditor General's report into Victorian Public Hospital Operating Theatre Efficiency reveals that hospitals are working under incredible pressure to improve elective surgery performance while the government has no information on state wide theatre efficiency or capacity and is failing to provide much needed support for health services to improve.
Though extra security at hospitals is welcomed, we're only talking about this because the justice system has let us down under Daniel Andrews. It was because our bail system is broken that a man allegedly killed a respected doctor while on bail. Our hospital system lost a highly trained and skilled professional and father of two because our justice system failed.
Daniel Andrews promised to fix ambulance ramping and to eradicate bypass but both are still regularly occurring. At least 10 patients were waiting with paramedics or being treated in the hallways of the Royal Melbourne Hospital on Sunday.
Shadow Minister for Health, Mary Wooldridge, today announced that a Liberal Nationals Government will provide up to $7 million over four years for free voluntary flu vaccinations for all Victorian children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years old. Influenza is a deadly disease, with thousands of Victorians suffering from it every year. Tragically flu takes the lives of many elderly people as well as otherwise healthy young children who can be particularly vulnerable to the illness.
A report by Victoria's independent anti-corruption commission, IBAC, has been tabled in Parliament today, revealing serious drug misuse at Ambulance Victoria. Among other serious misconduct, IBAC identified the theft and misuse of morphine and fentanyl by paramedics. Fentanyl is 100 times stronger than morphine and is increasingly identified as the cause of accidental deaths in Australia.
Hospitals are no doubt under massive pressure, many of them are starting the year with deficit budgets because electricity costs, in terms of the prices, have tripled as a result of Daniel Andrews' failed energy policies. In addition, the Government's change in policy and funding guidelines may cause additional impact in the order of $20m.
Victorian hospitals have learned that their peak and off-peak energy prices have as much as tripled this year compared to last. Yet, health services have not been funded to meet the increased power costs and Daniel Andrews' Government is leaving them to pick up the extortionate bill.