- On June 19, 2018
AMA (NSW) President, Dr Kean-Seng Lim, is welcoming the State Budget, particularly the increases to frontline medical staff, investment in mental health, and Western Sydney.
“It’s excellent to see the Government spending money in real areas of need including mental health, palliative care, oncology, pain management, and geriatrics.
“It will be key to make sure that the 300 additional doctors hired as a result of this budget are not just in needed specialties but also in the right location.
“In particular, it is good to see a state government make such a significant commitment to mental health, with a focus on community-based care.
“I look forward to seeing this built on in future years, as mental health is something that has been somewhat neglected under a number of state governments,” Dr Lim said.
“The growth in recurrent health spending is similar to that we’ve seen in previous years by the Coalition Government.
“It represents steady growth in recurrent spending but at a slightly lower rate than we here at the AMA would like to see,” Dr Lim said.
“Spending on reducing obesity rates and community mental health should be viewed as an investment in the future of the health system.
“These initiatives will reduce demand for acute care in the future,” Dr Lim said.
“The Government’s own figures show hospitals are having to cope with record or near-record numbers of emergency presentations every quarter.
“The people attending are coming in sicker than they’ve ever been and the number of people with one chronic disease or more is increasing.
“We need to do more to relieve pressure on our state’s hospitals as well as ensuring they have the resources they need to deliver high quality care.
“One of the best ways we can do this is have a serious look at how we can better integrate care between hospitals and the community with an emphasis on co-ordinated care.
“Knowing this is a pre-election budget, I would very much like to see commitments from both of the major parties on plans for integrated models of care during the election campaign,” Dr Lim said.
“It's good to see additional investment in the Active Kids Program and more broadly in childhood development with the Creative Kids Program.
“Additionally, the investment in green spaces is a recognition of the importance of liveability and the effect that has on people's health.
“Increasing the number of children's playgrounds and extending the Western Sydney Parklands will encourage physical activity in areas of need,” Dr Lim said.
Media contact: Lachlan Jones 0419 402 955