Mercury (Hobart)

AMA chief welcomes pledge to lift health


THE peak doctors’ body has welcomed a $600 million increase in State Government spending on health over the next four years.

Australian Medical Associatio­n President John Burgess said the funding boost and a rollback of efficiency dividends would help to address the ongoing problems in the state’s health system.

“Our health system is badly in need of increased investment in staff, equipment and capital infrastruc­ture,” he said.

“What we want to ensure is that today’s announceme­nt is not just about plugging existing holes in the health budget, but will see, in real terms, increased investment in our hospitals.

Premier and Treasurer Peter Gutwein announced the boost while releasing a revised budget estimates yesterday.

It will partly be funded by special dividends from government business enterprise­s.

Professor Burgess also welcomed the announceme­nt of upgrades to informatio­n technology system in health.

“Today’s announceme­nt is a step in the right direction by the Minister and the new Premier,” he said.

“We look forward to continuing to work with the government on governance reform, and ensuring investment is delivered for muchneeded equipment and capital infrastruc­ture projects.”

Labor’s health spokeswoma­n Sarah Lovell said the news was not all good for health.

“Putting in money that should’ve been there in the first place is not a funding increase. It’s an admission from Peter Gutwein that his budget was based on a lie,” she said.

“Tasmanians hospitals and health system are still forecast to face almost $50 million of cuts. There is still no long term vision or plan to deliver health services for Tasmanians.

“This is a farce and Tasmanians will be forced to pay for it with worse health outcomes.”

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