Posted on 20. Apr, 2010 in News

Hundreds of thousands of Victorian patients will receive faster hospital care under an historic four-year $890 million deal reached today, Premier John Brumby said.

Speaking after the Council of Australian Governments meeting in Canberra, Mr Brumby said the agreement will cut emergency department waiting times at Victorian hospitals and allow patients to receive their elective surgery sooner.

“This is an important boost for the Victorian health system that will deliver additional investment for hospitals and health services now,” Mr Brumby said.

“The Victorian Government will continue to run the health system under the agreement signed today.

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

“Additionally, 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 today for 332 extra sub-acute beds means Victoria will treat 5000 extra patients every year once additional beds come on line. These are important beds for patients who have had serious illness or major surgery and need extended care such as rehabilitation or further assessment or treatment.”

Mr Brumby said the Victorian Government had secured a deal that will deliver better and faster healthcare for all patients.

“The agreement signed today builds on the existing strengths of the Victorian health system and delivers additional investment now and into the future,” he said.

“Every Victorian doctor and nurse should be proud today that their efforts will be replicated and adopted nationally.

“We know that local hospital boards work well and are best-placed to respond to the needs of their local communities.

“Under the agreement, Victoria’s 44 smallest hospitals have been protected and will be supported under the special arrangements introduced by the Victorian Government some years ago.

“Noting Victoria’s internationally-recognised $150 million Victorian Cancer Action Plan, COAG agreed that Victoria lead – with the Commonwealth – the development of a national cancer action plan to benefit all Australians.

Under the agreement signed today, both the Commonwealth and the States will invest money in a transparent state-based hospitals fund – including GST money – that will fund local hospital networks.”

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