While the Victorian budget delivers massive investment in health services in Victoria, the Medical Scientists Association of Victoria is disappointed the Andrews Government continues to ignore public pathology services.
In delivering more funding for critical clinical services the Andrews Government has ignored the desperate need for additional funding in public pathology services, which is one of the most vital services in Victoria’s hospitals. Pathology services are a key clinical service in our health system and are used to provide diagnoses in up to 80% of acute care settings.
With more public health services under pressure to cut budgets, it is often pathology services that suffer through staffing cuts or worse, are outsourced to private pathology providers interested more in delivering profits to shareholders than the best possible healthcare.
It is disappointing that the Andrews Government cannot commit to properly funding public pathology services. Unfortunately this budget has failed to address the growing concerns about the capacity of our public pathology services.
While reinvesting in public health is absolutely vital, the Andrews Government is failing to direct funding to pathology services, one of the most crucial clinical services in our hospitals that currently has a desperate need for proper funding. When someone goes to hospital they’ll be given a pathology test of one kind or another to provide a diagnosis so treatment can start as soon as possible.
For years the state of public pathology has been declining as more and more health services cut pathology workforces or outsource pathology services to private providers only interested in making profits rather than ensuring the highest quality of care for patients.
The Andrews Government should have sent a strong message to health services about valuing public pathology by putting funds directly into public pathology.
Unfortunately for the Andrews Government, the initiatives around health care cannot be fully realised while public pathology is ignored.