HSUWA urges State Government to budget for new health initiatives

Wednesday 10 Apr 2019

The Health Services Union WA (HSUWA) has welcomed the long-awaited release of the Sustainable Health Review but warns it won’t have an impact on the already stressed system without proper investment.

HSUWA says the $26.4 million dollars announced to implement initial projects is a good start, but the initiatives will require further funding and will need to be resourced adequately to ensure efficiencies are achieved over the long term. 

HSUWA Secretary Dan Hill said without more investment the current system is not positioned to implement any new initiatives.

“$26.4 million isn’t enough in the longer term, the government needs to have the willingness to provide adequate budgets to implement these endorsed changes.

“Whilst the review does provide the framework for development of a 10-year health plan, implementation of the strategies and recommendations contained in the report will be key.

“The State Government will need to demonstrate investment in implementation for this to truly impact the system.

“The report identified WA’s health system was struggling under increased demand while at the same time suffering reduced growth in health budgets.

“Growth in the WA health budget has been reduced from an average of 9 per cent p/a to 2 per cent last year with a budgeted 2 per cent again in 2018/19.

“This reduced growth has resulted in health workers being required to do more with less, with waiting lists growing and increasing pressure on our emergency departments. We have seen the impact of this in the past few years with increased stressed claims, sick leave and allegations of bullying.

“The report acknowledges the contribution of the committed WA health workforce and the essential role they play, while also pointing out they need to be valued.

“Our members have suffered two years of the Government Wage Policy. Under this policy many of our valued health professionals who provide clinical care receive less than the value of inflation pay increases, with the prospect of that to continue for a further two years. This is not sustainable,” Mr Hill said.

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