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Greens Alternative Budget Invests in Preventative Health

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Tags: Health, Preventative Health, Mental Health, Young People

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Health spokesperson

The Tasmanian Greens today announced we make a significant contribution to improving the health of Tasmanians by increasing the Health budget by $139.3M over four years.

Instead of cutting the Health budget, and taking money out of emergency departments, the Greens would reinstate the frontline health staff cut by the Liberal Government when they came to office.

To make a serious dent in the rate of chronic diseases, smoking and obesity, we need action backed by money, not rhetoric. The Greens would invest $100M over four years into preventive health, because we understand that this is an investment that pays for itself in the short, medium and long-terms.

This is a commitment to 3% of the overall health budget on preventive health, building up to 5% across the forward estimates. 

The Greens Alternative Budget provides funding for the structural changes that are the only way to have a substantial reduction on rates of 'lifestyle' diseases. We would fund a sugar strategy and take action to remove high-sugar foods and drinks from schools and government buildings.

The community response to the Health Minister's tiny mental health budget contribution shows how disappointed they are in his lack of commitment to the Rethink Mental Health and Suicide Prevention strategies. The Greens would invest an additional $8M into mental health, and another $1.2M into suicide prevention in young people. 

We understand that to protect the community from harm we need to increase funding for drug and alcohol programs, including making needle and syringe programs more available outside main cities. We would also purchase pill testing machines to keep young people safe at festivals and events, and inject a substantial additional $2.4M into smoking cessation strategies.