Health workforce greatest challenge for new Victorian Government

November 27, 2022

The Victorian Healthcare Association (VHA) congratulates the new Victorian Government and stands ready to work with it on stabilising and improving our public health system for the next four years.

Deputy CEO, Juan Paolo Legaspi, said the Labor Party has committed to solid policies to improve our public health system after an extremely testing time.

The VHA is particularly hopeful that incentives to train new health workers and attract more graduates into public health services will build a more secure workforce in four years’ time. However, retaining our current health workers and attracting more qualified health workers from overseas to immediately address critical shortages should be a top priority.

‘The severe shortage of health workers needed for our public hospitals, community health services and aged care facilities to function will be the greatest challenge for our new government. Measures to address it will determine how much healthcare can be delivered over the next four years and how long Victorians will wait for care,’ he said.

‘Recent data showed more than 10,000 health workers resigned from public health services in Victoria last year. This is happening when we need 22,000 new workers to join the system each year. The VHA is very keen to assist the government with finding solutions to this problem, so our public health services can get on with delivering world-class health care.’

Mr Legaspi said the VHA would continue to advocate for policies outlined in our election platform, including calls for:

  • free healthcare in urgent care centres outside of Melbourne so all Victorians can access emergency care without financial barriers
  • funding that matches or exceeds inflation so public hospitals and community health services can deliver enough care to meet demand
  • new funding models for out-of-hospital care so more people can receive health care at home and in the community.

Mr Legaspi said the new government had an exciting opportunity to make changes that will create a more sustainable health system for Victorians.

‘As the peak body for public health services in Victoria, the VHA wants to work towards a more connected health system that uses its resources wisely to prevent illness and deliver care in the right place at the right time. We are committed to working with the Victorian Government on this vision,’ he said.