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State government defends commitment to health system, despite major blowout in surgery wait times

3aw mornings

The Victorian Government is staunchly defending its commitment to the health system, despite a 27 per cent blowout in elective surgery wait times in the past six months.

It’s been revealed more than 50,000 people are on elective surgery waiting lists.

That list has grown by 11,000 since July.

Speaking on 3AW Mornings, Health Minister Jenny Mikakos told Neil Mitchell wait times were still shorter than anywhere else in Australia and the state government was spending more money than ever on hospitals.

“$12.2 billion is what we’ve delivered,” she said.

Ms Mikakos said “a number of factors” were contributing to the rapid spike in wait times.

“It’s important people understand what’s going on,” she said.

“We’ve got significant population growth – an extra million Victorians in the last decade.

“We’ve got an ageing population (and) people are living with more chronic disease.

“We’ve had skyrocketing GP costs and specialist costs – that’s something the federal government controls – and we’ve had a massive exodus out of private health insurance.

“So more and more people are relying on public hospitals.”

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview 

But the Australian Medical Association says the government’s record commitment isn’t enough.

“Yes, they (government) are spending more, but we need to spend even more,” Dr Tony Bartone told Neil Mitchell.

“We’ve got to get ahead of the game, otherwise we’ll be chasing our tail for years to come.”

Click PLAY below to hear more from Dr Bartone

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