HIV numbers are predicted to blow out in future decades after reports the LNP has taken its eye off the ball when it comes to preventative health.
Tristan Douglas, Lead Organiser of the Together Union was concerned preventative health is no longer a priority for Queensland due to recent cuts in health.
“There are 11 jobs state wide looking at tuberculosis, HIV, Aids and other communicable diseases as well as smoking as well as cancer prevention,” said Mr Douglas.
Mr Douglas accused the state government of “running away from their responsibilities.”
“If we don’t get preventative health right, across the board by 2030 the majority of the Queensland budget is going to be chewed up by health spending as our population ages,” he said.
Shadow Health Minister Jo-Ann Miller, was concerned the Newman governments cuts to more than 150 jobs in preventative health would increase pressure on frontline health services.
“Preventative health programs are designed to stop people getting sick before they need the services of our hospitals and medical community,” Ms Miller said.
“By cutting them you increase the burden on our public health system.”
According to the Queensland Association for Healthy Community (QAHC), the number of people living with HIV is set to increase by 56% in 2020 from the 2010 figures.
This estimates that HIV numbers in Queensland will soar from 2180 people in 2010, to 5408 people in 2020.
Health Minister, Lawrence Springborg said $2.5 million in HIV funding was being redirected to ensure strategies were focussed on “awareness and prevention”.
“I refuse to turn a blind eye to what are obviously ineffective campaigns at reducing HIV diagnosis rates,” Mr Springborg said.
“Instead of this funding being administered by QAHC, which has published its intention to move the core of its activity away from AIDS/HIV to more general, political issues, it will be moved into the control of an expert panel – a Ministerial Advisory Committee on HIV/AIDS.”
“There will be no cut to resources for HIV/AIDS strategies.”
Mr Springborg did not comment on how the job cuts in the area of preventative health would affect the delivery of such awareness and prevention strategies.
By Lauren Geldard