ADF More Hospital Beds Will Help – 5 August 2010

“The Coalition’s commitment to more hospital beds is common sense health policy and will expand the capacity of our public hospital system to meet the growing needs of a growing and ageing population”, Dr Aniello Iannuzzi, rural GP and spokesperson for the Australian Doctors’ Fund said in Coonabarabran, NSW today.

“Regardless of preventative health programmes and despite the best effort of those of us who work in primary health care, some patients will need to be hospitalised for their medical and surgical conditions.”

“Australians have always regarded access to hospitals as a very important measure of their health care and general security”, Dr Iannuzzi said.

According to the 2010 Australia’s Health Report, the Australian public hospital system has suffered a loss in beds under State Government stewardship (11% decline from 1997-98 to 2007-08). It is only fitting that this decline be reversed to cope with a growing and ageing population.

“We support the Federal AMA’s election call for more hospital beds and in particular its recent public statement in doctors4health report”, Dr Iannuzzi said.

The AMA report states that, “Expanding the capacity of the public hospital system will result in more timely access into hospital for patients, and safe occupancy rates once patients are in the hospital.” (Ref: doctors4health report, AMA Key Health Issues for the 2010 Federal Election, pp 9-10)

“The ADF notes the Coalition’s commitment to expand aged care nursing home beds along with public hospital bed capacity. We believe this makes sense and will help to improve patient flow from our public hospitals to nursing homes.”

“Independent health boards are also a welcome reform to a public hospital system in need of positive change,” Dr Iannuzzi said.

For more information, contact:
Dr Aniello Iannuzzi (02) 6842 3333
Mr Stephen Milgate (02) 9567 5595 (BH)