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Labor’s $1.5 billion health plan

Victoria to get an extra 1700 nurses under Labor government pledge.

Victorian Labor has promised to employ an extra 2800 doctors, nurses and health professionals if re-elected in a bold bid to take the upper hand on health.

The new recruits would be spread across the public hospital system, providing faster treatment for more patients under a $1.5 billion health package.

The four-year package also includes $618 million to treat an extra 315,000 emergency patients and $344 million for 620,000 surgeries.

It comes a day after the coalition pledged $87 million to employ more doctors and nurses, cut hospital waiting lists and improve hospital accountability.

In a week set to be dominated by health debate, Opposition leader Ted Baillieu promised an extra $70 million for regional health services.

Baillieu said the government's health splurge less than three weeks before the election was transparent.

"That's really a sign that this government has put politics before patients, these are announcements, if the government were genuine, they should have made a long time ago," he said.

Labor's pledge would create an additional 1700 nurses, 400 doctors and 700 other health professionals on the hospital front line within two years.

They would also be better protected, with the government flagging new laws to double the maximum penalty imposed on people who assault health workers.

Similar laws exist for police and paramedics.

Every doctor working in a public hospital would be given an iPad to enable speedy access to patient records.

Victorian Premier John Brumby said the package also included $304 million for more specialist services like dialysis and chemotherapy, and $36 million for expanded dental care.

"This is a $1.5 billion package, it's the largest commitment we've made going forward," he said.

"It will provide more elective surgery, it will provide more treatment in emergency departments, it will ensure that we treat more patients, with better care, right across the state."

The government and the opposition are expected to release policies on extra hospital beds closer to the November 27 poll.

The opposition's $70 million regional package includes $56 million for capital works projects over four years to "fix" neglected health services.

It also provides more funding for postgraduate specialist training in the regions, bush nursing, midwifery places and incentives for doctors to move to the bush.


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