Latest News

Back to News

VHA welcomes the Greens plan to stand with community health

Posted 14 November 2018

The Victorian Healthcare Association has today welcomed the announcement by the Victorian Greens that they would advocate for a record $360 million boost to essential community health services following the extensive campaign by hundreds of Victorians calling on MPs to stand with community health.

The state-wide campaign, ‘Stand with community health’, is drawing support for community health and calls on the next Victorian government to adopt a series of ‘asks’, which the Victorian Greens adopted in their announcement today in an effort to lessen the strain on public hospitals and provide access to localised responses to health and social issues.

CEO of the VHA, Mr Tom Symondson, said Victoria’s community health services, which are unique in Australia, pride themselves on being accessible to all Victorians, including to some of the state’s most vulnerable and isolated people who may have nowhere else to turn.

‘Community health plays a crucial role of filling gaps left by the broader health system and bridge the gap between acute and primary care sectors, however, it has not received the attention it deserves from government and has been gradually weakened over recent decades by enforced competition and funding cuts.

‘The VHA congratulates the Greens on their plan to boost investment into community health in Victoria, including in areas of dental and infrastructure funding which have been eroded over a number of years. We welcome their leadership in this area which will enable these vital services to continue their important role in our communities,’ said Mr Symondson.

A key commitment of the Greens is a $4 million commitment to a pilot project to establish partnerships and treatment pathways between public hospitals and community health services so that people receive care in the most appropriate setting, and to help manage the ever-increasing demand placed on our public hospitals.

‘Partnerships between hospitals and community health services are based on relationships and initiatives of individuals, this needs to be fostered and strengthened to achieve greater outcomes. There are several examples of hospitals and community health working together across the state and these have resulted in people receiving care in a timelier manner and in the right setting.

‘Under our current model there is a lack of financial incentive to do this. These constraints are not in the best interests of Victorians and restrict services’ ability to be responsive and flexible in delivering timely access to care. That’s why a commitment to fund community health is so vital,’ said Mr Symondson.

The commitment made by the Victorian Greens is consistent with the VHA’s election positions towards community health including:

  • investment of $160 million to double the number of eligible people accessing public dental treatment
  • leverage of existing funds and provide a $200 million boost to community health infrastructure and services, targeting areas of greatest need
  • making community health services preferred suppliers for the Victorian Government. 

Earlier this year, the VHA, together with community health services around the state, launched the ‘Stand with community health’ campaign, calling on all political parties to take action to leverage and support community health for the benefit of communities and the broader health system.

Read the Victorian Greens announcement here.


News Archive

View all

Renowned public health advocate to appear at VHA's annual conference

Globally renowned public health advocate, Dr Sandro Demaio, will appear at the 2019 VHA Annual Conference: The future of health an imperative for change. Recently appointed as the CEO of … Read more

Submission on residential aged care models of bed allocation

The Commonwealth's 2018-19 Budget More Choices for a Longer Life package offered in principle support for a move from the current approach of allocating residential aged care places to alternative … Read more

DHHS Secretary appears at Aged Care Royal Commission

DHHS Secretary Kym Peak appeared at the Aged Care Royal Commission in Melbourne last week, giving evidence regarding younger people in residential aged care in Victoria. Ms Peake’s evidence … Read more

VHA calls for urgent action on aged care funding

Victoria’s peak body for public health says the extension of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety should not delay Commonwealth Government action on sustainable residential … Read more