Sumary of Call for greater COVID-19 recovery funding:
- The federal government is under renewed pressure to boost health funding to cope with pressure from Australians who postponed medical care during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- “But Victoria’s chief health officer Brett Sutton and health economist Stephen Duckett have taken aim at the lack of recovery planning between state, territory and federal leaders.
- The pair have urged the government to share with states and territories anticipated increased health care costs from patients who put off getting help for issues other than the virus during the past 18 months.
- Under existing arrangements the costs will be borne by the states because of a federal funding cap, they said.
- Professor Sutton and Dr Duckett also warned of impending burnout-induced healthcare staff shortages and long-term mental health consequences.
- “In 2022, public health will need to concern itself with the emerging burden of disease and avoidable harms linked with the profound effects of the COVID-19 pandemic over the past two years,” they said.
- “We must be vigilant, to ensure that our first-rate public health capacity is not run down as part of public sector belt tightening,” the article said.