MINISTERS STATEMENTS - Hospital Waiting Lists (30.4.2019)

Written on the 30 April 2019

30 April 2019



Tuesday, 30 April 2019


Ms CROZIER (Southern Metropolitan) - My question is to the Minister for Health.

Minister, Deanne is a 46-year-old mother who lives in Frankston. She was told by her specialist last November that she required a category 2 urgent procedure. It is now May, 180 days since she was told her category 2 surgical procedure would be done within 90 days. What do you say to Deanne, who was first told in February and then again in March that her surgical procedure would be pushed out for a further three months?


Ms MIKAKOS Northern Metropolitan Minister for Health, Minister for Ambulance Services: I thank the member for her question. It is really interesting that she would be asking me this question at a time when what we are seeing from the current government in Canberra is a retrospective cut to hospital funding that has had a huge impact on our health system$305 million retrospectively cut, clawed back from Victoria's health system. This is the focus of our fair share campaign. We will continue to advocate for a fair share of funding from Canberra, regardless of who wins at the coming federal election, because we need to ensure that Canberra is making an appropriate contribution to Victoria's hospitals.

What we have seen from those opposite is absolutely no interest in these matters. They have no interest. They have not made a single phone call to their mates in Canberra around this $305 million ripped out of our Victorian hospitals, nor do they care about the fact that they have put up a dud hospital funding agreement on the tablea dud deal offering only 45 per cent funding growthignoring the 2011 funding agreement which we want to go back to to ensure that Victorian hospitals get a 50 per cent contribution to growth from the government in Canberra. We are experiencing the most population growth in the country, and what we are seeing is the government in Canberra penalising Victoria for its successpenalising Victorian patients for the fact that people want to come and live and work in this state.

What I would say to those opposite is that since we have been in government we have actually put in 31 per cent more funding than the last coalition government's funding, which Ms Crozier was a part of as Parliamentary Secretary for Health. There is 31 per cent more funding to our hospitals from our government compared to the last coalition budget in 201415.

When it comes to elective surgery, what I would say is that the latest performance data shows that the median wait for elective surgery was 27 days. Do you know what it was under the previous government? It reached a 42-day wait when the coalition were in government. Performance is in fact improving under our government. That is what I would say.


Ms CROZIER Minister, you did not mention Deanne's name once in your answer. Minister, she used to coach netball; she can now barely attend a match. She feels trapped in her house because she is constantly bleeding. She is spending a fortune on sanitary products and medication. It is not only a worrying and debilitating health issue for Deanne and her family, it is becoming a cost-of-living issue because of the cost of her sanitary products and medication.

Minister, Victorians are sick and tired of your excuses, especially when they are on the waiting list, and you are spending their moneytheir fundson attacking the federal government. So I ask: when are you going to fix the waitlists and the hidden waitlists so that people like Deanne and thousands of others can be seen and operated on when they are told they are going to be?

Ms MIKAKOS What I would say to Deanne is I would encourage her to make contact with the relevant hospital. There are processes that are in place. I cannot respond to the specifics of matters that Ms Crozier is coming in here and talking about, but what I would say is that we are making the investments to ensure that people are getting access to elective surgery. Performance has in fact improved considerably since we have been in government, and we will continue to undertake the advocacy from those opposite

Ms Crozier interjected.

Ms MIKAKOS: That really is quite disgraceful and unnecessary, Ms Crozier; really disgraceful on your part. What I would say is that we will continue to undertake the advocacy necessary, regardless of who wins in the coming federal election, because we want to make sure that patients get access to the care they need.


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