Better health outcomes for Territorians was high on the agenda for Health Minister Natasha Fyles at the Council of Australian Government’s (COAG) Health meeting today.
Health Minister Natasha Fyles said the Territory Labor Government would continue to work closely with other jurisdictions and the Federal Government to make sure all Territorians have access quality health care regardless of where they live.
Remote area nurse safety was on the agenda, with Ms Fyles talking about the steps already introduced in the NT to improve the security of nurses, including no longer having single nurse posts and ensuring nurses do not attend incidents alone at night.
The issue of the emerging trend of non-nicotine vaping was also an agenda item.
Ministers tasked Chief Medical Officers from each jurisdiction to urgently review non-nicotine vaping and cigarettes following data from the US linking deaths and rising numbers of hospital admissions to vaping. Ministers also reaffirmed their commitment to maintaining existing restrictions on nicotine vaping products. In the NT, these products are treated to the same restrictions that govern tobacco products.
At the conclusion of the meeting, Minister Fyles was nominated, and accepted, the chairmanship of Health COAG for the next year.
As stated by the Minister for Health, Natasha Fyles:
“”The Territory Labor Government knows that investing in health will not only improve the lifestyles of Territorians but reduce the burden on acute services and deliver long-term savings.
The meeting of Health Ministers from all Australian jurisdictions is an important opportunity to make sure the Territory has a voice in the development of policies and programs that affect all Territorians.
“We have some of the most complex and costly pressures on our health system. While we’re certainly excelling in some areas to meet those needs, I will continue to fight for health funding and improved services.
“Chairing Health COAG is an honour and I thank the other Health Ministers for their trust in filling this very important role.”