As Victorians go to the polls today, last-minute election promises have been in full swing in the lead up to the state government elections. Health is always one of the hot political topics, and the two major parties have not disappointed, both coming up with last-minute plans for the health system being released this week.
On Tuesday, the Coalition promised a $5 million investment in health services in Melbourne’s western growth corridor. On Wednesday this week the Coalition government has stated that they will further extend ambulance resources in Ararat. This is on top of their previously announced $15 billion for hospitals and health services, which would include halving the cost of ambulance cover for families and singles, building Australia’s first dedicated Cardiac Hospital, a new hospital in Bendigo, and recruiting more health professionals.
On Thursday, Labor leader Daniel Andrews announced that if elected, Labor would fund pharmacies across Victoria to stay open 24 hours a day. Nurses would be on site in the pharmacies from 6pm and 10pm to provide on-the-spot medical advice. There would be 20 of these 24/7 Super Pharmacies across the state, with 15 of them operating in Melbourne. Labor has also promised a $100 million plan to end the ambulance crisis. Labor has also promised to build the Victorian Heart Hospital, give a $16.2 million boost to the Monash Medical Centre Moorabbin and have GPs provide comprehensive primary care for students at 100 secondary schools in disadvantaged postcodes across the state.
The Australian Medical Association (AMA) has had a dig at both of the major parties this week, calling on the Victorian Liberal Party to disclose which hospitals have received the 710 new public hospital beds they are claiming to have provided. The AMA has also called for the government to support after-hours GP clinics, slamming the 24/7 Super Pharmacies policy, and has said that Labor’s doctors in schools program will not work.
Image: Mike Mozart – flickr