Waiting for health care? These factors will determine how long you will wait in 2023

A shortage of trained health workers, exacerbated by the COVID-19 furlough, remains a major concern for our public health system and limits the delivery of care services. While recent data from the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency showed that migration of internationally trained health workers to Australia is increasing to pre-pandemic levels, our public health services are still desperate for staff.

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In August, the Victorian Government’s Skills Plan said Victoria needed 65,000 new workers to enter the health and community care sectors by 2025 to meet demand and replace people who are retiring. That’s about 22,000 a year. To begin building our own locally trained workforce, the state government has created a number of incentives to attract students to health courses and will pay incentives to graduate nurses to work in the public health system instead of the private system. These policies should empower our workforce for years to come, but we won’t see the benefits for some time.

The big question for our healthcare sector this year is what the Commonwealth government will do to improve Medicare so we can try to prevent more people from getting sick in the first place, or reduce the severity of their illness so they don’t end up costly ones Hospitals need care.

The pandemic has spotlighted pre-existing problems and inefficiencies in our complex health care system, including insufficient funding for GPs and other community-based health services to keep people healthy or better manage their health so they don’t experience crises that require hospitalization Entry.

Last week, Prime Minister Daniel Andrews begged the Albanian government to prioritize health system reforms in 2023, saying the status quo was unsustainable for government budgets. He did so when he opened a new state-funded family doctor service in Heidelberg — the first of 25 designed to move less urgent patients out of crowded emergency rooms. The federal government is responsible for primary care, including GPs, so it’s unusual for the state to pay for it and shows how concerned state governments are about the demand for hospital care.

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It is time for the Commonwealth to give more resources to hospitals and to reform and fund out-of-hospital care to make it more accessible, sustainable and focused on achieving good outcomes for people, not quick transactions. This should include more recognition and funding for Victoria’s 81 community health services, which already provide multidisciplinary healthcare to hundreds of thousands of Victorians.

Globally, Victoria’s public system has held up very well to the ongoing pressures it has faced in recent years. But it will be many years before waiting lists return to pre-pandemic levels. In the meantime, Commonwealth and State governments urgently need to reform our healthcare system so fewer Victorians languish on waiting lists for many months and sometimes years to get the care they need.

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https://www.smh.com.au/national/victoria/waiting-for-healthcare-these-factors-will-determine-how-long-you-wait-in-2023-20230109-p5cb8n.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_national Waiting for health care? These factors will determine how long you will wait in 2023

Callan Tansill

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