VICTORIA SIGNS HISTORIC HEALTH DEAL TO PUT PATIENTS FIRST

Posted on 31. May, 2010 in Victoria

The Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, and the Premier, John Brumby, today toured the Alfred Hospital Elective Surgery Centre and signed the historic Council of Australian Governments health agreement to put patients first.

Mr Brumby said the new COAG health reform agreement would deliver an additional $4.7 billion investment in health and hospital services in Victoria over the next decade.

Importantly the reform package delivers more than $900 million in additional Commonwealth investment in Victoria over the next five years.

“Our Government is working in partnership with the Rudd Labor Government to deliver better hospitals and health care for Victorians,” Mr Brumby said.

“Our Government has always said that any reform to health and hospitals must put patients first – and that is precisely what this new COAG health reform achieves.

“Under this reform, 150,000 patients who currently wait too long in emergency departments each year will now be treated within the clinically-recommended four-hour timeframe.

“Almost 34,000 additional patients will receive their elective surgery faster over the next four years, meaning more people will get their operations and have them done sooner.

“The funding secured for 332 extra sub-acute beds means Victoria will treat 5000 extra patients every year once additional beds come on line.”

Mr Brumby said the Rudd Labor Government had taken massive strides in redressing the systematic underfunding by the previous Commonwealth Government.

“The Rudd Labor Government has set about repairing the damage done when Tony Abbott was Federal Health Minister and the Howard Government stripped Commonwealth funds out of the nation’s hospitals,” Mr Brumby said.

“The Prime Minister has shown that he is willing to work with the States to achieve the best possible outcome for health reform.

“By agreeing to establish State-based health funding pools, the Commonwealth has avoided unnecessary duplication and complexity in arrangements going forward.”

Mr Brumby said the COAG health reforms built on the Victorian Government’s record $4 billion health boost in the recent 2010 State Budget.

Key features of the 2010 State Budget health boost include: the $1.1 billion Comprehensive Cancer Centre in Parkville; a new $473 million Bendigo Hospital; $407.5 million to redevelop Box Hill Hospital and $68.9 million for Stage 2a of the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre at the Austin Hospital.

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