SHA’s response to the 2023/24 Victorian State Budget

Thursday 25 May 2023

Spiritual Health Association (SHA) congratulates the Victorian Government for maintaining overall funding levels for the public healthcare system despite the challenging economic climate. This commitment demonstrates a recognition of the crucial role that healthcare plays in society and the need to ensure continued access to quality healthcare services for all Victorians.

SHA acknowledges the ongoing pressures faced by the healthcare sector and its workforce. The demand for healthcare services continues to grow, while resources and staffing remain constrained. It is essential to recognise and address the challenges faced by healthcare professionals, including burnout, stress, and high workload. The provision of adequate staff support is essential to ensure the resilience, wellbeing and effectiveness of healthcare professionals.

SHA commends the government’s investment in mental health as Victoria continues to lead the way in mental health reform. Mental health is an area of significant concern, and the allocation of resources to address this issue is crucial. We recognise the importance of prioritising mental health services, improving accessibility, and promoting mental wellbeing within the broader healthcare system.

SHA urges the government to explore and invest in initiatives that promote multi-disciplinary teams (MDTs) inclusive of Spiritual Care Practitioners, harnessing their expertise to enhance mental health services and support the healthcare workforce.

SHA welcomes the ongoing investment in the spiritual care sector, recognising SHA’s role in ensuring safe and high-quality spiritual care for patients, carers and staff. The provision of spiritual care is an integral part of holistic healthcare and spiritual care practitioners are recognised members of the MDT, addressing the emotional and spiritual needs of individuals. Continued investment in this area enables this work to continue. 

The government recognises the need for innovative models of care, and we believe that addressing the above policy points will make a significant contribution to the health sector, mental health services and the healthcare workforce.  SHA is committed to working with the Victorian Government to deliver comprehensive patient-centred care.