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Keeping Queenslanders healthy - 2018 QLD State Budget

Australian Financial Review

Queensland Treasurer Jackie Trad (left) and Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk ready to hand down state budget.Dan Peled\AAP

 

Diabetes Queensland welcomes the 2018 State Budget unveiled yesterday by Treasurer Jackie Trad, who describes this as the Budget for all Queenslanders. "Our people, whatever their age, wherever they live, should be able to get the healthcare they need," Ms Trad said.

 

Framing her budget, the Treasurer rightly drew attention to the huge growing pressure on the state health system caused by poor diets, obesity and the trend to chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes. The Government says obesity and its consequences cost Queenslanders about $11.5 billion a year.

 

With the success of the My health for life program, administered by Diabetes Queensland, work by the Government to develop an anti-obesity strategy is complemented in this budget by allocations including $20 million for renal services at Cairns and $4 million to extend rural access to podiatry as a bulwark against diabetes complications. In the Treasurer's words, we find a welcome focus on what the government calls 'promoting wellness', which we call preventive health.

 

The operating budget for Queensland Health in the coming financial year is a record $17.3 billion. A further $985 million is set aside for capital investments in first-class health services and facilities.

 

In a growing suite of preventive measures, we welcome:

  • Two anti-obesity ad campaigns - End your unhealthy relationships; and Find your happy healthy
  • Telephone coaching to help expectant mothers maintain a healthy weight during pregnancy
    • $10m for a 2-year Logan City Health Action Plan, with a focus on obesity
    • $2.5 m to extend the trial of bariatric surgery for high BMI patients with type 2 diabetes
    • A renewed vow to support a Healthy Futures Commission aimed at obesity and healthy families
    • Confirmation of My health for life funding through to 2019/20
    • A Health and Wellbeing Strategic Framework (Kids' healthier food and drink & healthy weights)
    • Increasing to 400 'nurse navigators' in public hospitals to aid patient access and support

 

This budget delivers a stronger focus on obesity and healthy lifestyles, a focus that must continue to strengthen in years to come. Expectations are high that substantial new initiatives will arise with the delivery of the Healthy Futures Commission and new directives such as the Health and Wellbeing Strategic Framework.


Diabetes Queensland looks forward to working with the Government to extend, develop and refine this preventive health focus to benefit the health of individual Queenslanders, strengthen our communities and underpin our strong state economy.

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