Victoria Hospitals Boost Under Baillieu/Ryan Government

Victoria Hospitals Boost Under Baillieu/Ryan Government

Victoria Opposition Leader Ted Baillieu

Baillieu Delivers 800 New Beds In First Term

Victor P Taffa

  • 1,600 Beds In Statewide Health And Hospital Reform
  • New Health Services Plan 2022
  •  $1 Billion Health Infrastructure Fund
  •  Rural And Regional Health Overhaul
  •  $87 Million Waiting List And Emergency Department Reform

The Victorian Liberal Nationals Coalition will, in its first term, deliver 800 new beds to Victoria’s hospitals to slash waiting lists, reduce emergency department wait times and improve patient care as part of a new health and hospitals plan for the next decade, Coalition Leader Ted Baillieu announced today.

 

“Labor has left Victoria with the lowest bed to population ratio of any state in Australia at 2.3 beds per 1,000.” Mr. Baillieu said.

“There are more than 40,000 people waiting for elective surgery and more than 250,000 people who are not treated, discharged or transferred within 4 or 8 hours of presenting to emergency departments. The Coalition is committed to slashing waiting lists and fixing the problems in our hospital system.”

“We will deliver 800 new beds in the first four years of a Baillieu Government and commit to a further 800 beds in the second term delivering a total of 1,600 beds over the next eight years.”

“This represents an investment of $800 Million over the next four years.”

“The Coalition is taking decisive action to stop the crisis in Victoria’s health system and give patients and doctors the beds they need to ensure that Victorians get the health and hospital care they deserve.” Mr. Baillieu said.

According to The Medical Journal of Australia: The most obvious and important solution to solving the crisis (access block crisis) is to increase physical bed capacity. (source: electronic Medical Journal Australia Access Block Can Be Managed, 2009)

The Coalition may increase the number of additional beds even further, pending an audit of hospital bed capacity. The location of beds will be determined by clinical necessity in consultation with health services and clinicians.

“After 11 years, Premier John Brumby has failed to deliver the hospital beds we need, and this has resulted in massive access block to our hospitals, which is at the heart of the ambulance ramping crisis, the waiting list crisis and the debacle of ED waits.” Mr. Baillieu said.

“Labor has tried to slide through the crisis in our health system, using outdated and incorrect population statistics, manipulating waiting list data and hiding the truth about waiting list numbers by keeping secret and undisclosed lists.”

“John Brumby has lectured the country about how well he has supposedly done with Victoria’s health system. But struggling Victorian families who have suffered the agony of waiting hours in emergency departments with a sick child, or who have had to wait years to get surgery, know that he is out of touch with the real crisis in the health system.”

“John Brumby promised eleven years ago he would fix the health system and focus on the basics, but he has obviously and dramatically failed.” Mr. Baillieu said.

HEALTH SERVICES PLAN 2022

The Coalition will provide a 12 year plan to rebuild Victoria’s health system and plan for the future after 11 years of Labor neglect and mismanagement.

Announcing the Health Services Plan 2022, Mr Baillieu said Victoria’s health system had not been planned properly to take account of population growth and the ageing of the population.

“There is currently no effective metropolitan health strategy in operation. The old one effectively expired years ago and nothing has replaced it. Victoria’s health system is operating under 2002 population projections which are not only out of date, but we know that underlying assumptions of those projections have been wildly exceeded.” Mr. Baillieu said.

“The Health Services Plan 2022 will be a document that lays out a clear integrated and co-ordinated agenda for the future of the entire Victorian health system.”

“From workforce planning, to infrastructure, to Federal/State relations, Victorians need to know they will not be squeezed out by a system poorly designed by Labor.”

The Health Services Plan 2022 will incorporate:

  •  A new Metropolitan Health Plan 2010 to 2022, to be delivered within 150 days of taking office and to be developed in consultation with the community and all relevant stakeholders;
  • The Development of a Comprehensive Rural and Regional Health Plan for the next 12 years; and a Victorian Liberal Nationals Coalition 12 year Capital Works Plan.

“Labor has failed to plan for the future of the Victorian health system. As a result, some hospitals have not been planned with sufficient future capacity to accommodate population growth, limiting their lifespan.” Mr. Baillieu said.

“It is little wonder than median waiting times have blown out under this government, and waiting lists for category one surgery have more than tripled. Category 3 elective surgery waiting times have blown out more than 70 % under Labor.”

“The Health Services Plan 2022 will involve consultation with all sectors and stakeholders in the Victorian health system and will be based on current and accurate demographic and population data.”

 $1 BILLION HEALTH INFRASTRUCTURE FUND

The Coalition announced in April 2010 that proceeds from the auction of electronic gaming machine licences, which will provide $1 Billion, will be committed 100 % to a new Health Infrastructure Fund (HIF).

The HIF is an important feature of the Coalition’s long-term integrated plan to reform the health system with a dedicated and secured fund that will rebuild neglected and run down Hospital infrastructure while planning for future growth. This includes funding for Metropolitan and Rural and Regional Health Projects.

RURAL AND REGIONAL HEALTH OVERHAUL

The Coalition’s plan to further support and encourage regional and rural medicine over the first term of a Baillieu Government includes:

A $56 Million Capital Works Grants Program to fix problems created by Labor’s decade of neglect of rural and regional health care facilities. The Coalition will make available $14 Million p.a. to Rural and Regional Hospitals for smaller Capital Works. This Program will enable health groups to decide for themselves which projects are most urgent.

Specialist Rural GPs ($2.4 Million), providing a four-year postgraduate training program while medical graduates are working within the health sector, to train as GP Rural Generalists in obstetrics, anaesthetics, emergency medicine and surgery and to work in rural Victorian communities. Rural clinical schools will be supported to work with rural hospitals to put students through the program and onto a range of clinical placements.

Increased Funding For Bush Nursing ($2.2 Million) to support this vital service in its centenary year and provide crucial funding for 23 community-owned and run facilities across country Victoria.

Increasing Numbers Of Registered Midwives ($5 Million) to provide clinical placement, support, and supervision by hospitals for undergraduate and post-graduate midwifery students. According to the Nurses Board of Victoria, the number of registered midwives in Victoria has fallen by 894 since 2003-04 while Victoria is recording its highest birth rate since 1972.

Grants For Continuing Medical Education ($1 Million) to offset the high costs of medical education for doctors working in Rural and Regional Victoria, so doctors can update their knowledge and skills at metropolitan locations. Additional allowances will also be paid to trainee doctors who complete a minimum of 13 weeks in a rural placement.

A Rural Relocation Fund ($1.6 Million) to help doctors relocate from Metropolitan Locations to Regional Communities, helping hospitals that are finding it harder to attract medical staff to work in rural areas, and helping doctors and their families who incur high costs in relocating to rural areas.

Rural Scholarships of $20,000 each for Rural Medical Students ($1.8 Million) – with a return of service bond which can be discharged during the GP Rural Generalist program – to cover living expenses, a tertiary grant, travel and conference assistance.

Improving The Collection Of Data On Rural Obstetrics to shape future Maternity Care Models ($220,000).

Employment Of Undergraduate Midwifery Students who are certified Division 2 Nurses or Post-Graduate Midwifery Students (some of whom are Division 1 Nurses) in a maternity setting appropriate to their skills.

The Coalition is also committed to increasing the skilled medical workforce in Rural Areas and encouraging the opening and re-opening of Maternity Units in Regional Victoria.

These announcements bring to more than $800 Million the total funding committed by the Coalition to improve Health Care for Victorian families living in Rural and Regional Areas, including:

  •  Investments in New Infrastructure,
  • Ambulance Services,
  • Doctors,
  • Nurses,
  • Other Health Professionals.

These commitments include:

  •  $630 Million for a new Bendigo Hospital,
  • $88.4 Million for Ballarat Health Services,
  • $9 Million for Mildura Base Hospital,
  • Ballan Bush Nursing Hospital and Warragul Hospital Emergency Department,
  • More Ambulance Services and Stations for Regional Victoria,
  • $2 Million for a Helipad at Ballarat Hospital,
  • $1.8 Million to Redevelop Ballarat District Nursing and Healthcare’s Facilities,
  • $5 Million for Radiology Services in South West Victoria.

Further Rural and Regional Capital Announcements will be made during the Election Campaign.

$87 MILLION TO REDUCE VICTORIA’S WAITING LISTS

The Coalition will undertake a full statewide audit of Victoria’s waiting lists, and invest more than $87 Million to fix Labor’s scandalous hospital waiting list problems by:

• Providing $48 Million to employ more Doctors, Nurses, Diagnostic and Allied Health Professionals on a Clinical Needs Basis;

• Establishing a $20 Million Outpatient Improvement Fund to assist Hospital Outpatient clinics to treat more Patients in a timelier manner;

• Establishing a Commission for Hospital Improvement to improve Hospital Procedures;

• Establishing a Health Innovation and Reform Council to advise on reform measures to improve Patient Flow through Hospitals;

• Allocating $8.4 Million to establish Patient Treatment Co-ordinators to improve Patient Flow through the Health System;

• Providing $7 Million to Improve Outpatient Data Transparency to allow for better Health Planning, supported by 10 Outpatient Nurse Co-ordinators;

• Providing for more Surgeries by reducing re-admission rates;

• Developing and implementing a ‘first on first off’ rule to prevent queue jumping and patients being shuffled down waiting lists;

• Adopting appropriate mobile technology, as well as supporting the E-Health identifiers proposed by the Commonwealth, to increase clinical time and reduce administrative time;

• Establishing a $4 Million Hospital performance website to make performance data for Metropolitan Hospitals publicly available via a dedicated real-time website.

Hospital Bed Costings

2010/11

2011/12

2012/13

2013/14

2014/15

Total

Beds

100

200

200

300

800

Total Expenditure ($ Mn)

$55.4

$148.8

$224.3

$371.5

$800.0

 

Responsibility for Election Comment

Under the provisions of the relevant Electoral Act responsibility for all election comment is assumed by Editor Victor P Taffa. The Registered office of The Southern Thunderer is at 4/69a Darvall Road, West Ryde NSW 2114.