Improved spending in health but challenges ahead

Improved spending in health but challenges ahead

Thursday 7 September 2017


Health continues to face a challenging future following today’s state budget, the Australian Medical Association (WA) said.


“With an increase in spending of 1.4 per cent in 2017-18 followed by a cut of 1.8 per cent in 2018-19, today’s budget will require health to do more with less,” AMA (WA) President Dr Omar Khorshid said.


“Once inflation, our ageing population and the trend to do without private health insurance are taken into account, there will be continuing and strong pressure on health care in WA.”


Dr Khorshid and the AMA however welcomed the increase in mental health funding of 5.9 per cent, calling it an important move.


“However, we will be seeking additional information to confirm that this extra funding is spent on mental health services,” he said.


“We are pleased to see that the McGowan government is delivering on its election promises in Health and also what appears to be a greater investment in front line health services including public hospitals.”


“The AMA welcomes the government’s strong action to take public health seriously and establish a Let’s Prevent Program. This is a great opportunity to let people know how important it is to take action on their own health and we hope that the program will focus on exercise and diet. The AMA looks forward to working with the Health Department and other health organisations on this positive innovation.”


“Since the reduction in the influence of HealthWay in the public health space, such programs can be vital in the fight against issues such as obesity.”


“However we have strong reservations about plans by the Government to establish a phone app to measure public reaction to the care they receive at public hospitals. Whilst consumer engagement is very important, this proposal seems to be politically correct at best and at worst it could divert much needed resources away from front line services,” Dr Khorshid said.

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