The Andrews Government Record 2014-2018
Please note that this content has been extracted from the state election flyer distributed to members in marginal seats
Extra graduate place
2,600 grad positions for nursing, midwifery and mental health in 2018/19 – up almost 40 per cent from 1860 grad positions under the last Liberal/National government.
Public aged care
Stopped the public aged care sell-off and building new facilities with a $55.57 million public aged care facility expected to be completed at St George’s Hospital, Kew, by May 2019 with 90 beds including 30 psycho geriatric beds.
The Andrews Government has fully funded education for more than 4000 nurses, midwives and carers to improve patient care in regional and metropolitan Victoria.
Almost 2500 nurses and midwives have attended ‘Ice – methamphetamine addiction’ seminars to learn how to respond to affected patients safely and effectively. Another 750 nurses and midwives will gain a deeper knowledge through the one-day and two-day ‘Alcohol and other drugs’ workshops. New courses to be advertised for 2019. Delivered by Turning Point – a national addiction treatment, education and research centre, these courses have been positively received.
800 registered and enrolled nurses working have participated in the ‘Comprehensive health assessment of the older person’ course delivered by La Trobe University. These three-day workshops provide knowledge and skills to make a significant difference to an older person’s health, safety and quality of life. Courses will be offered again in 2019.
The Andrews Government has actively engaged with the ANMF to address the issue of managing waste in public hospitals and funded a project that will:
- Reduce the environmental impact of the health care sector through a reduction of waste generation and recoverable resources going to landfill
- Reduce the cost of waste management to the public health care system e.g. via correct use of clinical waste bins.
- Greener Government Buildings Program reinstated in 2017 with $26m for solar installation and energy efficiency upgrades at hospitals and regional health services – to save more than $70m in energy costs and reduce 20,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.
Kept stand-alone community health centres, four public aged care facilities, two parents and baby centres and Ballarat District Nursing Service in the public sector EBA.
Community health taskforce
ANMF is participating in the Community Health Taskforce to review current services and provide advice to the Victorian Government on strengthening the sector’s capacity to meet the needs of Victoria’s disadvantaged and priority populations.
Voluntary assisted dying
Introduction of the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act. ANMF (Vic Branch) and the majority of its members supported the Bill being passed through parliament. ANMF is now being consulted and contributing to its implementation.
Investment in compassionate palliative care giving more terminally ill Victorians access to services that enable them to die at home or closer to home. $62 million over five years to support home palliative care services including $19.5 million for more doctors and nurse practitioner positions in the Regional Palliative Care Consultancy Services, $6.25 million for a 24-hour expert advice line, $3.86 million for regional community palliative care services and $10 million in grants for end-of-life ancillary support services.
Proposed legislation to improve public health services palliative care unit nurse patient ratios to 1:4, 1:4, 1:6 – plus in charge on all shifts.
Maternal & child health
$81.1 million additional funding in the 2017–18 budget for the Enhanced Maternal and Child Health Service, the Maternal and Child Health Line, outreach family violence services and training for maternal and child health nurses.
The additional funding meant the enhanced service could be extended to 37,000 more families, with children aged up to three years.
The $81.1 million package came on top of an historic investment in the service in the previous year’s budget, bringing the total to $214.1 million.
77 nurses successfully applied for the 2018 MCH Nursing Scholarship program – the largest number of successful applications ever awarded under the program. The program was expanded to take on more nurses and the value of the scholarships increased from $5000 to $10,000.
Record mental illness and addiction investment
Rebuilding the neglected mental health system with significant additional funding each year – $118 million in 2015-16, $356 million in 2016-17, $325.7 million in 2017-18 and an historic $705 million in 2018-19.
A nearly 60 per cent increase to the alcohol and other drugs services budget. At the end of the current investment program residential rehabilitation beds will have more than doubled from 205 to 470 beds.
A real shift in the approach to treat addiction as a health issue, providing more Victorians access to mental health and rehabilitation services and to better integrate services.
A $183.7 million Ice Action Plan and an $87 million Drug Rehabilitation Plan.
The recent budget will help communities and families respond to the insidious scourge of addiction with 30-bed residential treatment facilities to be built in Barwon, Gippsland and Hume.
A new 20-bed residential facility for young people with mental health issues will focus on early intervention.
Additional nurses in existing Prevention and Recovery Care Units will reduce the pressure on acute services.
$100.5 million for emergency department ‘crisis hubs’ will be built at Monash Medical Centre, St Vincent’s Hospital, The Royal Melbourne Hospital, University Hospital Geelong, Sunshine Hospital
and Frankston Hospital for patients with urgent mental health, drug and alcohol issues. This will result in better care for patients and will make patients, hospital staff, security staff and police safer.
Additional clinical liaison positions, scholarships and education opportunities are all designed to expand and build the capacity of the mental health nursing and alcohol and other drugs nursing workforce to meet the increasing community demand.
Saving and rebuilding lives
The trial of the medically supervised drug injecting room in North Richmond has saved lives and helped families by providing rehabilitation opportunities and housing, health and family violence interventions for addicts. It has also reduced ambulance and police call-outs.
The most recent audit found the centre has responded to 140 overdoses, many potentially fatal. In its first two months, the service was seeing up to 200 clients per day, more than six times the number seen at Sydney’s King Cross facility in the same period.
Construction has started for a stand-alone facility in North Richmond.
Paramedic / nurse
The Inter-Professional Graduate Program for Nurse Paramedics was launched, enabling graduates of double nursing/paramedicine degree to work as both nurses and paramedics.
150m ‘safe zones’ around women’s health and family planning clinics, for the physical and mental safety of women and health workers
Victoria became the first state in Australia to legalise access to medicinal cannabis
Healthscope Geelong and Kew
Assistance for 200 nurses facing redundancy after Healthscope’s shock closure of its Geelong Private and Cotham Private hospitals.
117 job opportunities within Barwon Health and metropolitan facilities were identified, with Healthscope nurses given preference.
Nursing and Midwifery Health Program Victoria
Secured funding for the Nursing and Midwifery Health Program Victoria which provides award-winning personalised counselling and support to Victoria’s nurses and midwives, including monthly attendance in Bendigo, Ballarat and Traralgon.
Preventing violence and aggression
Making health services safe workplaces has been a priority by implementing the OVA taskforce action including training for frontline workers, a community campaign, standardising hospitals’ code grey responses. All public health services have been required to report violent and aggressive incidents to Victorian Parliament.
$40 million investment in hospital projects to prevent and end violence and aggression. Projects include CCTV, access control doors, lighting, security systems, behavioural assessment rooms and duress alarms.
Safer Care Victoria commenced to oversee and support health services following a review of hospital safety and quality.
Health Complaints Commissioner introduced as an independent and impartial statutory body to resolve complaints about non-registered health providers.
Bricks and mortar
Continued significant investment to build new hospitals and rebuild and improve existing infrastructure. Highlights include:
The Andrews Government’s first budget in 2015-16 provided:
$560 million toward building and expanding hospitals including the new Joan Kirner Women’s and Children’s Hospital to open in Sunshine in 2019 and expanding facilities at Casey, Werribee Mercy, Ballarat Base and Angliss hospitals.
In 2016-17 they provided:
$169 million to redevelop Shepparton Hospital and $61.3 million for major works at Footscray and Sunshine Hospitals
In 2017-18 projects included:
- $167.7 million to upgrade and expand inpatient infrastructure at the Northern Hospital
- $69.8 million for the Austin and Royal Melbourne hospitals
- $63.2 million to upgrade Monash Medical Centre
- $50 million to plan the Footscray Hospital redevelopment.
In 2018-19, the Andrews Government invested $1.2 billion in building and improving the hospitals with $619 million for metropolitan hospitals and $627 million for regional hospitals:
- $396 million to fully fund Australia’s first standalone heart hospital (total investment $543 million)
- $69.5 million to upgrade infrastructure at The Alfred
- $29.6 million to improve the Sunshine Hospital emergency department
- $462 million for Ballarat Base Hospital
- $115 million for Wonthaggi Hospital emergency department
- $50 million to continue upgrading rural and regional health facilities.
Authorised by Lisa Fitzpatrick, Secretary, ANMF (Vic Branch), 535 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne VIC 3000.