Tuesday, October 3, 2023

No real incentives

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Shadow Minister for Regional Health Services Penny Pratt says the state government has failed to offer real incentives in the budget to attract and retain doctors and nurses to the region.

Ms Pratt said she was “very disappointed with last week’s State Labor Budget, which ploughed an extra $2.3billion just into health but did nothing to offer real incentives”.

“While the Victorian Labor Government has put $201million on the table to entice health workers to move there, the best Minister Chris Picton can offer is a reimbursement of up to $15,000 once an overseas trained doctor has already moved to our state,” Ms Pratt said.

“When we crunch the numbers, they are still out of pocket by up to $23,000. The numbers just don’t stack up.”

She said the only new money in the budget for the Limestone Coast was $1million to undertake a planning study for the delivery of health services in the Naracoorte region.

“While every dollar spent in regional health is a positive, there is so much more that needs to be done, such as funding new equipment and specialists, which we should be able to access closer to home, therefore taking pressure off the city system.”

Limestone Coast Local Health Network Board chairman Grant King said the $1b was to support further planning and further engagement of practitioners to work and support the Naracoorte Hospital.

“We are yet to determine the full extent of how that money needs to be used. Essentially, it is part of the planning services area,” Mr King said.

The service plan will also project what might be needed for Naracoorte and surrounding areas as the population grows and ages.

Naracoorte Community News 5 July 2023

This article appeared in the Naracoorte Community News.


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