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AUSTRALIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (WA)
Western Australian political parties must immediately release their health election policies to allow voters to fully debate the future of health in WA, the Australian Medical Association (WA) said today.
“Health plans should not be hidden from the voting public. Too often they are announced in the last few days before an election to avoid professional and public scrutiny.” AMA (WA) President Dr Andrew Miller said.
“Health remains mismanaged with health services short of funds and the lack of beds in public hospitals now the worst in Australia despite the massive increased budget allocations of recent years”, Dr Miller said.
Health should be front and centre of the policy undertakings given by any political party in its efforts to win the support of the WA public.
“With more than a quarter of the State Budget going to health and its dominance in the lives of the population in WA, it is vital that all parties reveal their plans for health in the next few weeks.”
“Western Australians have a strong interest in health and will not be taken for fools. They will demand details on what is being promised in the health area, and see through spin, glib promises and arrogant building announcements.”
The AMA (WA) has met with the major political parties in recent weeks and has called on them to incorporate six key issues in their planned policies.
These issues are:
Capacity and Services
The AMA (WA) has this week sent copies of its 2017 WA State Election Health Policy Statement to all WA State politicians.
Dr Miller said it was important that politicians listened to those who work with patients in the health sector.
“We will be striving to make our politicians honest when it comes to health. There has been a massive trophy hospital building program underway over the last eight years, but the population of WA has been growing strongly and now we have fewer beds and community services than before. Billions of tax dollars have been spent on unnecessarily complex and mismanaged projects.” Dr Miller said.
“A number of undertakings made in the 2013 State Election, such as the redevelopment of Royal Perth Hospital have not materialised. In addition, despite the opening of Fiona Stanley Hospital and the Midland Health Campus, there remains a serious shortage of available hospital beds. This has to be rectified.
“The AMA looks forward to engaging with all sides in a constructive way to spotlight the critical issues in health and make sure our next State Government is capable of turning the tide, whoever is elected.” Dr Miller said.
To read the AMA (WA) Health Policy Statement, please click here.