State and Federal Budgets mean more cuts to the health workforce

The federal Budget didn’t just take the axe to health and education funding in a direct way, the Budget also contained changes that will see planning for the nation’s future health workforce end.

And worst of all, the federal Budget compounds and makes worse the cuts to health contained in Napthine’s Victorian state Budget.

The Napthine Government provided nothing in Victoria’s budget to increase health services and failed to address the cuts to the professional health workforce. Instead the Napthine government is continuing with its plans to increase the number of less qualified allied health assistants by replacing highly qualified staff.

The Abbott Government budget compounds the cuts in Victoria by cutting up to $50 billion from health and hospital funding, making it more difficult for states to make up the short fall in funding.  Clearly with such short falls in funding for health and hospitals, it will be the scientists, psychologists and pharmacists that will again face further job cuts to keep hospital and community health centres budgets balanced.

Quality healthcare doesn’t come from infrastructure spending. Quality healthcare comes from having a highly qualified and skilled workforce capable of delivering the health services necessary to keep all Victorians healthy.

To truly improve healthcare outcomes for Victorians, the state and federal governments must invest in its workforce, not by reducing workforces nor  by outsourcing services to providers only interested in profits or dumbing down the workforce required to deliver quality health outcomes to patients.

Unfortunately for Victorians it appears that neither the state nor the federal governments have any interest in truly delivering world class healthcare.

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