Health System was Always Going to Collapse - Delta or No Delta
The NSW Public Health system was always going to collapse due to successive governments not prioritising health promotion, disease prevention and mental wellbeing, and ignoring calls for more investment in the public health workforce, Greens MP and Health and Wellbeing spokesperson Cate Faehrmann said.
“The NSW Government has been warned for years that its public health system would be under significant strain as a result of people living longer and rising levels of disease, but ensuring that the health system could cope hasn’t been its number one priority,” said Ms Faehrmann.
“Investing in disease prevention and health promotion is one way in which the government can ease pressure on hospitals, yet this area has always been a last minute thought of governments from all sides.
“Mental health presentations to emergency departments have also been increasing over the last decade. It’s just not good enough for the NSW Government to also just blame Covid for our mental health crisis in young people.
“It’s time governments prioritised health and wellbeing, including mental health, across the entire community by addressing existing health inequities and reducing risks associated with unhealthy lifestyles.
“Many studies have shown that reducing chronic disease and other harms associated with obesity, smoking, alcohol use, poor diet and limited exercise can bring substantial economic benefits to the healthcare system.
“Yet Australia spends about $2 billion on prevention each year, or just $89 per person. This is 1.34 per cent of all health spending, which is considerably less than countries such as Canada, the United Kingdom and New Zealand.
“This pandemic must be a wakeup call to the NSW Government to put public health and wellbeing front and centre of everything we do. That includes paying our nurses, paramedics and other healthcare workers more for the invaluable work they do caring for us when we need them the most,” said Ms Faehrmann.