Qld govt offers band-aid health solution

Sonia Kohlbacher

Queensland's peak medical body says the state government is offering a band-aid solution to preventive health needs that would ease strains on the health sector if properly funded.

Treasurer Jackie Trad has talked up the public health system's record $17.3 billion operating budget and additional $985 million in capital spending on services and facilities outlined in Tuesday's budget.

But AMA Queensland president Dilip Dhupelia and Heart Foundation Queensland chief executive Stephen Vines say the government is merely paying lip service to serious health issues.

"It seems to be treating symptoms rather than the holistic long-term care of Queenslanders," Dr Dhupelia said.

"For weeks now the government has been talking about the obesity scourge that we have in Queensland, and the AMA has asked for a whole of government solution to our obesity crisis.

"This was not delivered today."

Dr Dhupelia said extra health funding had been allocated towards health workers to treat patient symptoms rather than addressing the root cause of their illness.

He wants funding to be more evenly spread among urban and regional hospitals to ensure patients in remote areas have access to treatments.

Mr Vines said the government had talked tough on the importance of preventive health measures but failed to follow through with enough money to address the scope of health issues among Queenslanders.

"We have some two-thirds of Queenslanders overweight or obese, we have some very high physical inactivity levels and particularly in regional and rural Queensland where these things are at worse levels," he said.

"Investment in preventive health means we reduce the burden on our hospital system so while it's great that we've got a record health budget ... we could actually reduce costs if we invest instead into prevention."