Thursday, 23 June 2022


Health system

Health system

Ms CROZIER (Southern Metropolitan) (17:48): (2017) My adjournment matter this evening is to the Minister for Health, but I am actually not sure who the Minister for Health is going to be tomorrow. It might be you, Mr Leane.

Mr Leane: I don’t think so.

Ms CROZIER: Ms Taylor, you might step up. We have got a revolving door of health ministers at a time when we need stability and certainty. That is what we have seen. I have seen off two health ministers now, and I am just wondering if you are going to be the third, Mr Leane.

But this is a serious issue because Victoria does have a health crisis. I would like the health minister, whoever it is to be, to reflect on Victoria’s health crisis: the record numbers of Victorians who are waiting on that elective surgery waitlist for vital surgery, the ambulance ramping that is occurring every day, the code yellows that are across so many regional hospitals on a regular basis, the worsening response times for our ambulances. Tragically, we have had 21 Victorians who have died since October because they could not get an ambulance or could not get through to 000. This is absolutely shocking—shocking. There are senior clinicians walking away, calling the system dire and dangerous. The system is in crisis.

Of course let us not forget about the failures in the COVID response—the government not ordering rapid antigen tests until virtually Christmas Eve, 23 December. The code brown that was implemented in Victoria in January was the only one in the country. It has put more pressure on our health services and sadly delayed too many Victorians from getting their necessary surgery. Cancer screenings have been cancelled, putting more Victorians at risk of developing cancer and having shocking outcomes because of that. Suspension of IVF services—this is a time-critical procedure that was suspended over January; there has been no understanding of that by this minister. The dental waitlist—151 000 Victorians are waiting for dental treatment and care. That was last December. We do not even know what the numbers are, and this is after all of this.

I am asking this new minister, whoever it is, to adopt the Liberal-Nationals plan to fix the health crisis and to start building the infrastructure that is required in regional Victoria, such as in Warragul, Albury-Wodonga—just put money into Melton; do not talk about it, just put some dollars into it—and Mildura. There are very critical needs around Victoria, including of course for an infectious diseases response centre, because that is the way that we need to be managing future pandemics. This government has completely botched it from go to whoa, and as a result Victorians are the clear losers.