Health sector ‘alive to opportunities’ for post-pandemic innovation

May 13, 2020

With daily innovations flowing through Victoria’s health sector in response to COVID-19, the Victorian Healthcare Association (VHA) has welcomed this week’s call by the Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos for the innovation process to deliver ‘lasting reform’ for Victoria.

Appearing at the first hearing of the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee, where an inquiry into the Victorian Government’s COVID-19 response is being conducted, Minister Mikakos celebrated the performance of health services and their innovation.

After praising the performance of the system, the Minister said the Department of Health and Human Services was ‘alive to opportunities’ as they review the pandemic response. She highlighted procurement and the retention of high levels of telehealth as potential areas for system reform.

Chief Executive of the VHA, Tom Symondson, who has been hearing firsthand about the innovative responses being developed by VHA members in response to the pandemic is excited about what this continued innovation means for Victorians.

‘While COVID-19 has undoubtedly impacted many Victorians and their families, it has also shown the resourcefulness and inventiveness of Victoria’s health services. As the Minister has indicated, there is a unique opportunity to take something positive from this pandemic; delivering reform, expanding innovations and maintaining successful initiatives,’ Mr Symondson says.

‘Telehealth, which has become ubiquitous as a result of the pandemic, is something the VHA has long advocated for and we welcome the Minister’s call for this to be maintained post-pandemic. With VHA members and Victorians showing their support for this development, it’s clear this must be continued long after the pandemic.’

Mr Symondson says the Victorian health system needs to learn from the pandemic and ensure it delivers changes that benefit all Victorians.

‘Victoria’s health services have delivered innovations that are bright sparks in a dark period and should be extended and expanded. System reform is an opportunity that must not be wasted and the VHA is keen to support and contribute to any process that enables its members to deliver better care.’