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Victorian Budget 2017–18: Good news for health but more certainty needed for rural communities

Posted 02 May 2017

The Victorian Healthcare Association has welcomed the Andrews Government’s historic commitment to address family violence, capital development needs of major metropolitan hospitals, mental health, cyber security and support of the NDIS transition.

But uncertainty remains around the much-needed support for rural hospitals, according to the VHA, the not-for-profit peak body supporting Victoria’s public and community health services

VHA CEO Mr Tom Symondson was pleased that many of its 2017-18 Budget Submission recommendations had been adopted.

“We are delighted about the upgrades for our members like Northern, the Western and Royal Melbourne hospitals.

“And we applaud the Andrews Government’s historic support of family violence solutions, and health system safety and quality,” Mr Symondson said. 

He congratulated the government’s commitment to follow through on landmark recommendations of the Royal Commission into Family Violence, and the Targeting Zero review led by Stephen Duckett into the quality and safety of Victoria’s health system.

“There really are some excellent commitments which will benefit Victoria’s public health services in long under-funded areas like mental health, cyber security, drug and alcohol support and protecting health staff from workplace violence.

“Rural health services play a crucial role in their local communities. Cutting funding in country communities is disappointing. The VHA is hopeful the cuts will be offset by significant investment in community-based health and aged care in these services.

“We would like to see more certainty about the longer term vision. We hope the Andrews Government can subsequently address this when it announces individual health service budgets later in the year.”

Highlights include:

  • $428.5 million in new hospital upgrades and equipment
  • $325.7 million for mental health
  • $1.9 billion to address family violence, including $448.1 million to create 17 support and safety hubs for victims
  • Almost $200 million to overhaul quality and safety and reduce avoidable harm over the next four years
  • $38.4 million supporting health workers and hospital response to family violence
  • $34.8 million to fight ice and other drugs
  • $11.9 million to help protect hospitals from cyber attack
  • $2.9 million to tackle violence against health care workers
  • $26.5 million to improve ambulance services

For more information contact:
Rosanne Michie | Director of Media and Communications
m. 0411 868535 or e. rosanne.michie@vha.org.au   

2 May 2017

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