The Productivity Commission’s Report on Government Services released yesterday highlighted the state of Victoria’s health system, revealing it has the lowest number of available public hospital beds, the lowest per capita spending on public hospitals, and fewer healthcare workers compared to South Australia.
These findings follow last year’s report, which showed that Victoria had the lowest funded and staffed public hospitals and the longest emergency department wait times of any state in the country.
Member for Euroa and Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Health Annabelle Cleeland said the situation in regional Victoria was dire.
“COVID is being blamed for the crisis in Victoria’s health system but the pandemic merely exposed vulnerabilities that already existed,” Cleeland said.
“Restoring confidence in Victoria’s healthcare system must be the government’s top priority, especially in regional areas, by providing the necessary infrastructure and services.”
“We are facing the dire consequences of the underinvestment in the health system, evidenced by the extreme waiting lists at Northern Hospital, GV Health, and Albury-Wodonga Health.”
The report also showed the proportion of total emergency department patients seen on time is below the national average.
“These waiting lists represent hundreds of people who are forced to wait for months and sometimes years for life-saving surgeries,” she said.
“All we are asking for is basic investment in healthcare services to ensure timely ambulance arrival, hospital bed availability, and efficient treatment for emergency department patients.”
“Our local healthcare workers deserve to have access to the basic funding and resources they need to provide quality care to our communities. It is disheartening that the government continues to prioritize an unnecessary metro rail line over the health and well-being of regional Victorians.”