A Labor Queensland Government would start to boost funding for preventative health programs forced to scale back their operations because of Newman LNP Government cutbacks, says Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk.
“Like all our commitments, our promise to reinstate basic community-based healthy lifestyle programs can be delivered with no new taxes and without asset sales,” Palaszczuk says.
“We can all do so much more to improve our health and wellbeing but unfortunately healthy choices are not always the easiest choices. This needs to change and a Labor government will help make these changes possible.
“This is why I am so disappointed that the LNP has cut services and axed jobs in our health system that were responsible for preventing infectious and chronic diseases and provided community based programs to promote health and well-being.
“Almost all health prevention activities in Queensland Health have ground to a halt under the Newman Government and many community-based programs have lost funding and have been forced to scale down their operations.”
She says a Labor Government would begin with two such schemes.
Labor would boost funding to the Heart Foundation Walking Groups program and the web-based 10,000 Steps program promoted by Central Queensland University to encourage people of all ages to monitor and record their walking time and distance.
“The Heart Foundation has been forced by funding cuts to operate its Walking Groups program by taking money from other areas of its activities,” she says.
“By boosting funds to this program Labor will help expand the number of Walking Groups that operate across the state and help people exercise and keep healthy.
“Similarly, Labor will ensure funding continues for the 10,000 Steps program when its funding runs out at the end of June. There is no indication that the program will receive any further funds if the LNP wins office.”
Ms Palaszczuk says the programs would be funded for four years at a cost of $1.4 million — $1.1 million for the walking groups program and $280,000 for the 10,000 Steps program,
“While efficient hospitals providing safe, quality health care are important, Labor believes that we can do much more to assist people take responsibility for staying healthy and out of hospital,” she says.
“Unfortunately the short-sighted cuts made by the LNP did nothing to boost preventative health efforts. They were a complete false economy.
“These can be delivered without new taxes and without asset sales and the loss of their $2 billion-a-year revenue stream.”