A leading Australian expert has lashed out at the federal government saying its reform agenda has ignored public health needs almost completely.
Writing in the Medical Journal of Australia, Raina MacIntyre, Professor of Infectious Diseases Epidemiology and Head of the School of Public Health and Community Medicine at the University of New South Wales, said public health was the invisible man in the current reform agenda.
AdvertisementThe federal Labor has introduced a range of reforms, including establishing GP super clinics, increasing elective surgery theatres and boosting investment in hospitals.
Prof MacIntyre says the reforms addressed only the problems in acute care and the hospital system, leaving out other areas of crucial public interest. And thus despite the objections raised by various organisations and State and Territory governments.
"In public health we know there is a critical shortage of epidemiologists and biostatisticians to fill the need for our most basic functions, yet this is another glaring omission in the national health workforce agenda," Prof MacIntyre said.
"Perhaps the success of public health in Australia over more than a century explains why it is now invisible.
"Until the health system in Australia is addressed as a whole, with all its essential components integrated and interlinked, truly successful reform, with genuine long-term vision and sustainability, will not be possible," Prof MacIntyre said.
The Medical Journal of Australia is a publication of the Australian Medical Association.