The Nationals Member for Shepparton, Kim O’Keeffe, has slammed the Andrews Labor Government’s decision to slash 15 per cent from critical community preventative health programs.
Ms O’Keeffe says those programs manage chronic disease and contributing factors including smoking, vaping, disability inclusion, unhealthy eating and physical inactivity.
“The Andrews Labor Government’s cuts are reckless given Victoria’s current health crisis with hospital surgery waitlists continuing to spiral out of control as well as the blow out in demand for beds,” Ms O’Keeffe says.
“I am appalled to hear millions of dollars is expected to be slashed from Victoria’s Community Health sector.
“These centres are actually reducing the pressure on our hospitals and our GPs are providing a much need critical health care service to our communities.
“The Premier, along with the Health Minister, recently announced more than 42,000 Victorians had been treated across 21 priority primary care centres since they opened last year.
“This is all about making sure people can get the care they need when they need it the most.
“I call on the Andrews Labor Government to not cripple our critical health care community health services,” Ms O’Keeffe added.
“Currently under Labor, the state’s debt is costing Victorians $10 million every day in interest. I find it very rich and arrogant this Premier continues to contradict himself, in promising Victorians the state’s health care sector will be a priority in next month’s State Budget when we are seeing him break that promise by slashing millions of dollars from this essential service.”
Ms O’Keeffe said if Labor and Daniel Andrews are changing their story about something this important, it makes you wonder what other essential programs will now be under threat.
“In the past eight years Daniel Andrews has wasted more than $1 billion on external consultants and mismanaged projects which has resulted in a $30.7 billion budget blow out.
“And regional Victoria is now expected to pay the price for that failure.
“The Nationals are calling on the Premier to reverse Labor’s funding cuts to community health,” Ms O’Keeffe added.