Minister’s Statement

I rise to remind the house of the Victorian government’s very clear message to Victorians of all ages not to delay health care during the pandemic. Victorians must continue to seek medical care when they need it and keep up with general health checks, vaccinations and routine screening. Putting off a visit to the doctor or hospital if you experience any lumps or unusual symptoms or delaying routine tests could put your health at risk.

The Victorian government is committed to ensuring Victorians can access health care and is investing $1.9 billion in our coronavirus health system preparedness response, and our world-class public hospitals have infection control measures in place to keep patients safe.

There is no reason to delay seeking medical care, especially when it comes to something as fundamental as making sure our kids keep up to date with life-saving immunisations.

Concerning research released recently by the Royal Children’s Hospital found one in five children aged under five had a routine vaccination delayed during this pandemic. The Royal Children’s last week opened a drive-through vaccination clinic available to all Victorian children due or overdue for routine vaccination, and I want to encourage parents to take up this opportunity to get their kids to catch up on their important vaccinations. The Royal Children’s is a prime example of how our health services have adapted to this pandemic, with innovative models of care ensuring Victorians continue to have access to world-class health care as our community continues to fight this coronavirus.

Victoria’s cancer screening programs are also operating with strict infection-control measures in place to make sure staff and patients are safe. So whether you are due for your regular cancer screening appointment or whether your children’s immunisations are due or overdue, please make sure you attend to those and do not put off seeking medical care. If you are concerned about any aspect of your health, it is important to continue to visit your GP and in an emergency to call 000 or attend our hospitals. It may just save your life.