More doctors, nurses and medical staff will be needed in Shepparton to fix the healthcare crisis in Victoria that’s seeing sick people getting sicker.
Long waits for elective surgery have exacerbated minor pain to chronic levels, while under-resourcing of the emergency triple-0 service has led to the preventable deaths of 12 Victorians – so far.
Leader of The Nationals Peter Walsh said an immediate boost was needed for the health workforce.
“The local community has signalled the clear priority for better health services in the region, but immediate action to bring more workers into our hospitals and medical clinics is equally important,” Mr Walsh said.
“Shutdowns through the pandemic mean the number of Victorians waiting in pain for surgery has skyrocketed to an estimated 100,000 people.
“Vulnerable people at crisis point are waiting more than 60 days for mental health appointments, while delays in access to drug and alcohol rehab has blown out even longer.
“In regional communities like Shepparton, the tyranny of distance also means people must travel hours for specialist appointments and treatments that they can’t access locally.
“The sad truth is that elective surgery waitlists were already out of control before the pandemic because the State Labor Government didn’t do enough to plan for future needs of Victoria’s health workforce.
“We need a positive plan to bring more staff into the health workforce as Victoria recovers and rebuilds – it’s the only way we’ll fix the healthcare crisis.”
The Nationals in government will work with public and private health providers to identify and maximise the capacity of our public hospitals, and use private practitioners and hospitals to assist with getting more surgeries completed, more quickly.
Mr Walsh said changes to the Mental Health Act – proposed by The Nationals last year, but blocked by Labor and Independent MPs – will also unlock an extra 2000 mental health practitioners to support kids in schools.
“Victoria is gripped by a health crisis, whether it is the elective surgery waitlist, whether it is the blowout in ambulance response times, whether it’s the failure of triple-0 calls,” Mr Walsh said.
“Labor has been in government 19 of the past 23 years so there’s no excuse for the government not to be able to have the resources in place to support the Shepparton community.”