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Protect rural health services: VHA

Posted 23 February 2017

The VHA today called on the Federal Government to ensure regional and rural communities in Victoria continue to have access to quality care. 

Mr Tom Symondson, CEO of the Victorian Healthcare Association – the peak body for the $16 billion Victorian public health sector - said it is vital for the sustainability of rural areas that locals receive quality and timely care.

“The local health services are the lifeblood of the community. Rural residents too often hit healthcare barriers limiting their ability to get the care they need.” 

The VHA has just lodged its 2017-18 Commonwealth Budget submission with Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt.

It includes recommendations calling on the Federal Government to ensure access to core services in rural communities is maintained and public health services and community health organisations are able to continue to provide the quality healthcare for which they are renowned.

“It’s of vital importance that rural residents have timely access to appropriate services when and where they need them,” Mr Symondson said.

“The public sector - the backbone of Australia’s health system caring for almost six million Australians a year – plays a vital role in regional and rural areas.”

The submission calls on the government to address the risks of “market failure”.

“We call on them to develop a strategy to mitigate against the risk of market failure in aged care and NDIS services, particularly in rural areas and for people with complex or specialised service needs.” 

The submission’s priorities reflect the highest aim of the Victorian public health sector - that all Australians, regardless of socio-economic status or place of residence, can access safe, high-quality health, aged, disability and community care where and when they need.

The submission is available here.

The VHA is the not-for-profit peak body supporting Victoria’s public hospitals, community health services and aged care providers to deliver quality care. 

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