Evolving Australian healthcare
As a GP, I know firsthand the importance of meeting our community’s healthcare needs. Our mental and physical health impacts everything we do – our quality of life, our capacity to work, our financial security and our families.
It is essential that we have accessible, equitable, best-practice healthcare that is responsive to our needs and a health system best prepared, resilient and well-resourced for future health challenges.
However, the pandemic has put even more pressure on an already stretched and underfunded public hospital system and dedicated healthcare workforce; and Australians spend just under $30 billion a year on out-of-pocket healthcare costs. Chronic disease, population growth, an aging population, climate change and future pandemics will continue to increase demand on our healthcare services.
We need to build the capacity of our health, aged care and disability sectors to meet these challenges by evolving healthcare delivery, increasing resources and services in critical areas of need, improving efficiency of existing systems and better supporting and building our healthcare workforce.
I have spoken with many members of the Mackellar community who have told me where they would like to see improvements in health services and support. There is an urgent need for local early intervention mental health and psychiatry services and an inpatient adolescent mental health unit at Northern Beaches Hospital.
We also need to expand access to public outpatient specialist services on the Northern Beaches and ensure there are minimum standards for nurse-to-patient ratios in hospitals across the country. There is a dire need for specialist disability accommodation and disability housing on the Northern Beaches and respite accommodation for carers to connect with services support.
I look forward to working with all levels of government and experts across all sectors to achieve these ambitions for the people of Mackellar by:
- Enhancing pandemic and health emergency planning and responsiveness
- Preparing and responding to the health impacts of climate change
- Increasing health system and workforce capacity and support
- Expanding mental healthcare that is responsive to community needs
- Improving services and support for people with a disability and their carers
- Adequately resourcing aged care to support our most vulnerable
Details of the full policy can be downloaded here.
What Dr. Sophie Scamps’ health policies mean for Mackellar
The current healthcare issues in Mackellar and the Northern Beaches:
- There are limited public outpatient services at Northern Beaches Hospital. This means people in Mackellar face significant out of pocket expenses for services that are funded by the government elsewhere in Sydney.
- Waiting times for mental health support on the Northern Beaches are months long.
- There is no dedicated adolescent inpatient mental health service at Northern Beaches Hospital.
- There is a lack of specialist disability accommodation and housing on the Northern Beaches.
- There is no government-funded disability carer respite accommodation service on the Northern Beaches.
- Aged care residents on the Northern Beaches face an uncertain future due to the government’s refusal to implement all of the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.
- Nurses, midwives and aged care workers in Mackellar are exhausted, suffering mental health issues and all are underpaid.
What Sophie’s health policies mean for Mackellar:
- Expanded government-funded outpatient specialist services on the Northern Beaches – so everyone has access to universal public specialist care.
- A dedicated adolescent inpatient mental health service on the Northern Beaches to help tackle the mental health crisis in our area.
- A mental health practitioner in every school on the Northern Beaches.
- A local pandemic plan and strategy unique to the Northern Beaches.
- A localised climate and health strategy tailored for the Northern Beaches – including more mental health support for those impacted by natural disasters.
- Local mental health nurses in our primary care network.
- More specialist disability accommodation and housing on the Northern Beaches.
- Respite accommodation for disability carers on the Northern Beaches.
- Increased wages for aged care workers, nurses and midwives on the Northern Beaches.
- More funding for aged care on the Northern Beaches so residents can live a dignified life.
- More primary care nurses in Aged Care Facilities to support our aged care residents.
- A home care workforce to meet the growing demand on the Northern Beaches for people who want to live in their own home as they age.
Dr Sophie Scamps
Independent candidate for Mackellar