What will the change of government in Victoria mean for national health reform? No doubt it’s a question plenty are pondering.

I’ve asked several Croakey contributors for how they would advise the new government around health reform, and what questions they’d like to see journalists asking about health matters. I will post their responses as they land.

First cab off the rank is Professor Helen Keleher, president of the Public Health Association of Australia.

Helen Keleher writes:

The PHAA would not seek to advise the new Government on its plans for hospitals.

But we would strongly encourage the Government to work with the plans to establish a national network of primary health care organisations to be known as Medicare Locals.

This is a visionary plan and Victoria should be part of it.

While we have a strong primary health care sector already, relative to some other states, we can nonetheless benefit from an improved and more integrated primary health care sector.

As to what questions should journalists be asking the new government about health:

• What are their values in terms of health reform?

• Will this government continue an emphasis on fairness and equity, with the aim of creating a fairer Victoria?

• Will the Victorian Liberal Party stop accepting donations from tobacco companies?

• What is your vision for tackling the harm caused by alcohol, as well as problems like violence against women?

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