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‘The government’s starved the system’: AMA welcomes overdue health funding boost

Gareth Parker
Article image for ‘The government’s starved the system’: AMA welcomes overdue health funding boost

The Australian Medical Association has welcomed the significant funding boost to the West Australian health system announced on Sunday, but has dismissed claims hospital resources have been stretched by the pandemic.

The West Australian government will spend an extra $1.9 billion on staff shortages and hospital services in the next budget, issues the government say have been brought on by the pandemic.

However the state president of the Australian Medical Association Mark Duncan-Smith says those claims are “rubbish”.

“Covid has actually eased pressure on the system,” he told Gareth Parker on 6PR Breakfast.

“The government saying there’s been this massive increase in demand is just quite frankly rubbish.

“There’s been a steady increase of activity over the last three to four years … the government has starved the system and put it on it’s knees with a 1 per cent budget increase per year.

“They’ve basically cobbled the system.”

Press PLAY to hear more below

Meanwhile, emergency department nurse Lucy called in to say the crisis was so bad, staff shortages need to be addressed now.

“The trouble is these changes … that’s going to take years to implement,” she told Gareth Parker.

“We’re in a crisis at the moment where I go to work in the emergency department and I can have up to 10 patients by myself – they consider a safe number to be five.

Press PLAY to hear more from Lucy below

Photo: iStock by Getty

Gareth Parker
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