Health Report Card Demonstrates Importance of Health Ministers’ Meeting

Minister for Health, Mental Health and Ambulance Services and Minister for Women The Honourable Shannon Fentiman
  • The latest national report card from the Australian Medical Association reaffirms the importance of additional Commonwealth support for Queensland’s health system.
  • It highlights that Queensland performs above the national average on most metrics, despite the disproportionate burden Queensland has borne after a decade of the former federal LNP gutting primary care and Medicare.
  • The report card comes after the independent Productivity Commission found Queensland leads the nation in elective surgery, with almost nine in 10 patients seen in time.
  • The state LNP opposition has continued to undermine health workers and has failed to rule out privatising health assets currently easing the burden on hospitals, like Satellite Hospitals and aged care homes.

The Australian Medical Association has released their latest national report card, which shows that health systems around the country are continuing to operate under pressure.

In the report card, Queensland President of the AMA, Maria Boulton, notes that Queensland has continued to bear a disproportionate burden of funding for public hospitals over the last decade after the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison LNP Governments refused to step up.

The release of the report card coincided with the meeting of federal, state, and territory health ministers meeting in Brisbane today to discuss health funding, including an additional $13.2 billion in national health funding announced by the Albanese Labor Government.

Queensland Health Minister, Shannon Fentiman, continues to advocate for a fairer share of health funding with the Commonwealth.

Queensland continues to perform on or above average across most health system metrics compared to other jurisdictions, despite record levels of patient demand.

Despite growing demand, Queensland continues to lead the nation on elective surgery and is delivering more surgeries than ever before – 6.4 per cent higher than the number of surgeries delivered pre-COVID.

Following an investment of $224 million last year to boost planned care, elective surgery long waits have dropped by 43 per cent.

Queensland’s median ED wait time is 15 minutes, two minutes faster than under the LNP.

And despite having the busiest ambulance service in the country, the QAS continues to have better ambulance response times than any other state or territory.

However, the report card also highlights pressures Queensland continues to face. Bed blockage caused by long-stay patients, as well as access to bulk-billing GPs, continue to put pressure on the hospital system.

Long-stay patients are patients who are medically ready to be discharged from hospital but are still waiting for a bed in an aged care facility or an NDIS package.

The Queensland Labor Government last year announced a further $200 million to reduce long stay patients and free up hospital beds.

Queensland has also been pushing for a further investment from the Commonwealth to fund more initiatives to address long stay patients.

All of this work is occurring at the same time as the Queensland LNP opposition is refusing to outline any substantial plans to address the pressures on the health system.

Opposition Leader David Crisafulli and Shadow Health Spokesperson Ros Bates have repeatedly undermined the work of frontline health staff, while also refusing to rule out selling off publicly owned health assets like Satellite Hospitals and public aged care facilities.

Quotes attributable to the Health Minister, Shannon Fentiman:

“It’s time that David Crisafulli and Ros Bates step up and be honest with Queenslanders about how they plan to address these very real and very complex issues.

“Their secret plan to sack health workers and sell off health assets will lead to every single metric in the AMA’s report card going backwards.

“Political slogans and focus-grouped talking points won’t ease these pressures on the health system.

“They need to stand up today and commit to not privatising our publicly owned health assets like Satellite Hospitals, which are diverting tens of thousands of less urgent patients away from our hospital EDs.”

“The AMA’s report card tell is clear – Queensland is performing above average but our hospital system, like those across the world, is under pressure.

“Not only do we have record numbers of people presenting to our EDs, but they are sicker and presenting with more complex conditions.

“Despite this, Queensland is continuing to perform above the national average on most measures in the AMA’s report care – including boasting the best median wait times and leading the nation on elective surgery.

“As the AMA points out, the former Federal LNP Government left Queensland out to dry when it came to health funding.

“I welcome the commitments of the Albanese Labor Government to boost Commonwealth funding for our healthcare system.”

/Public Release. View in full here.