Health | October 04, 2022

Health workforce policy to benefit Lowan residents

Health services in Lowan will benefit from a new $325 million Future Health Workforce Plan announced this week by the Liberals and Nationals to restore confidence in Victoria’s health system.

Member for Lowan and Deputy Leader of The Nationals, Emma Kealy said if elected to government, rather than spend $32 billion building a short underground train line between Box Hill and Cheltenham in Melbourne, The Nationals will instead train and recruit 40,000 new healthcare workers to help fix Victoria’s healthcare crisis - with a priority to fill vacancies in rural and regional health services.

“Workforce shortages in local hospitals often have a greater impact in country areas than in the city,” Ms Kealy said.

“Healthcare workers are the backbone of our health system, yet right across our rural communities we have pockets of critical health workforce shortages.

“This impacts on the health of us all through a lack of availability of local health services and specialists, with local residents waiting months to get an appointment, ambulance ramping and long elective and dental waitlists.

“Our smaller staffing size means when jobs are vacant waitlists blow out or services close, forcing locals to travel long distances for care which should be delivered locally. For some this is an inconvenience, but for others it means healthcare is inaccessible, especially for our older locals not able to drive long distances, for families who have to juggle parenting responsibilities, and for those with work commitments.

“The Nationals understand that training the next generation of healthcare workers is just one piece of the puzzle, with a critical need for more local housing for our health workers, safe roads and access to essential community services including childcare, schools, hospitals and community recreation assets and reliable mobile phone and internet services.”

Ms Kealy said the policy complements the Liberal and Nationals recent announcement of a comprehensive plan to fix the triple zero crisis.

“People rightly expect a hospital bed when they need one and someone to answer when they call triple zero - two things that are not happening now.

“Victoria cannot afford four more years of mismanagement and neglect under Daniel Andrews. Only the Liberals and Nationals will fix the health crisis and build the health system of the future,” she said.

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