Adequate funding needed to improve Victorian hospitals, not local boards

Calls from the Centre for Independent Studies to strip control of public hospitals from state governments are out-dated and fail to address the real crisis in public health services, the Medical Scientists Association of Victoria argues. “Victoria already has a system where local health services are run by independent boards and CEOs, which shows how out of touch the Centre for Independent Studies are on health issues,” said Dr Rosemary Kelly, secretary of the Medical Scientists Association of Victoria (MSAV).

Dr Kelly continued:

“It’s not only troubling that a so-called think tank does not know how the current governance is structured but that it sees cost reductions as the solution to the funding problem, and proposes that health workers salaries be cut by each health service negotiating separately with its workforce.

“The real issue is inadequate funding from the Victorian and federal governments going into public hospitals. We have a system based on the pricing of health services and the prices are simply too low.

“But then this is not about ensuring quality health care, it is entirely about keeping costs down by outsourcing more and more services and slashing the qualified, professional workforce.

“We’re seeing an ideologically driven approach to health care from CIS that would ultimately see patients paying the price. There is no evidence that shows such approach improves health care outcomes.

“Under the scheme being touted by CIS, which is driven by public hospitals cutting costs, the UK is having problems filling workforce gaps amidst growing concerns about the adequacy of care.

“To truly improve health care outcomes for Victorians requires the state government to invest in health care and its workforce, not find new ways of outsourcing services to providers only interested in profits rather than the care afforded to patients,” concluded Dr Kelly.

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