Health a priority after the federal election

I suspect most people will breathe a sigh of relief when the election is over.

In breathing that sigh of relief, we should not lose sight of the fact that we do have an opportunity to change government in a peaceful manner.

When you do vote, remember the years of struggle that went into securing that right.

Irrespective of the election outcome the issue of the delivery of primary health services to regional communities will still be with us.

A handful of ad-hoc policies are not going to fix the problem even though some of those initiatives announced and implemented to date might make a positive contribution at the margins.

We know that Australia is one of the healthiest countries in the world, with a recent ranking putting us in seventh sport out of 169 nations which was a drop of two spots since 2017.

The country ranked number one was Spain which improved its ranking by five places over the same period.

There is a clear correlation between the wealth of a country and health outcomes, but other factors come into play as shown by the ranking of the US which comes in at 35 with life expectancy dropping.

For Spain and most other highly ranked countries universality, free access and financial fairness serve as the guiding principles.

Spain also scores highly on the quality of its primary health care network and especially the role of the GPs and recent initiatives in prevention.

Just as there are differences between countries, there are differences within them.

Where we live, and the size of our bank balance should not determine access to care and the quality of that care.

As a nation and as a state we need to lift our game to ensure country residents receive the care they need.

We need to approach the provision of primary health care in regional areas with a fresh set of eyes and ensure there is a genuine access and equity.

It is not exclusively a federal issue but it is predominantly a federal issue.

If there is a change of government on Saturday I will be doing what I can to lobby my party to ensure that the sense of a fair go that we are committed to includes country South Australians when it comes to provision of primary health care.

And on a final note, more rain please!

Eddie Hughes

Member for Giles