The two major political parties are keeping voters in the dark on health, according to the Australian Medical Association, which has called on the parties to release their health policies ahead of the March 9 election.
The association’s WA branch last week released a 33-page document of “critical issues” for the State election, including recommendations to appoint 20 locum general practitioners in regional centres, funding for GP training, bonuses for three years of service in the bush, and a Northern Inland Health Initiative encompassing Kalgoorlie-Boulder and the Northern Goldfields.
But the document has so far sunk without a trace. AMA WA director of communications Robert Reid, said rural health issues were meeting “deafening silence” as Liberal and Labor “shadow boxed” for advantage.
Health Minister Kim Hames will visit Kalgoorlie-Boulder today, but there has been no indication what announcements he will make. A spokeswoman for the minister said the full health policy for a Liberal-led Government would be released “in due course”.
Shadow Health Minister Roger Cook said Labor will make further health announcements during the election campaign.
The last major health-related announcement was last week’s $30 million funding boost over four years for health and medical research under a re-elected Liberal Government.