27 June 2010
Queensland Government delivers strong health budget
The Bligh Government's Budget paid a social dividend from sticking to a strong economic plan.
The budget for health services (where I work) hit a record $9.9 billion, an increase of over 10% made possible through the Premier's strategy of prioritising government spending on key social services like health and education.
And that new health money will deliver some fantastic Labor policies that will make a real difference to the lives of Queenslanders.
Here's some examples of great Labor health initiatives delivered in this year's budget:
- the Bligh Government will double the number of dual cochlear implant procedures available for Qld children, eliminating the waiting list and ensuring every deaf child born in Queensland has access to cochlear implants during early childhood. That allows deaf children to learn language skills in infancy, making an enormous difference throughout their lives. The Bligh Government will also provide $2.46m to the Hear & Say Centre, which provides auditory-verbal therapy and support for deaf children to learn to speak.
- In a big win for injured workers, the Bligh Government will invest $39.1 million for the staged implementation of a hub and spoke, specialised persistent pain service network across Queensland. The network will provide highly specialised treatments to people with muscular-skeletal injuries causing persistent pain that isn't responding to routine pain management techniques. Many of these patients are blue-collar workers who have been injured in the workplace. The Australian Pain Management Association supported the announcement saying, "Access to specialist pain treatment and management services will help people back to health and productive life in their communities".
- Every major hospital in Queensland is being re-built or upgraded under the Bligh Government's infrastructure program. In our own neighbourhood the PA Hospital Emergency Department is currently being doubled in size, which will reduce waiting times and create jobs for local people.
Unlike the LNP, the Bligh Government believes in providing world-class public health services to Queenslanders. These are just some of the great Labor health initiatives delivered in a great Labor budget.
Cameron Crowther is President of the Annerley Branch, State Conference delegate and senior advisor to the Deputy Premier and Minister for Health