Department of Health

Doing what matters for patients and healthcare workers

Young woman having blood pressure measured by doctor at routine medical appointment

The Victorian Government is investing $4.9 billion in the Victorian Budget 2023/24External Link to ensure Victorians have the world-class healthcare they need, when they need it - and close to home.

The latest Budget is delivering more healthcare workers, new services, the latest equipment and new and upgraded hospitals across the state.

Delivering a sustainable workforce

The backbone of any world-class health system is a world-class workforce.

Since the Government’s $12 billion Pandemic Repair Plan launched last year Victoria has trained and recruited more than 4,500 health care workers right across the sector.

This budget the Government is delivering more than $338 million to ensure Victorians continue to have a modern, sustainable, and engaged health care workforce they can count on.

That includes $167 million to put more nursing staff in intensive care, high dependency, and coronary care units – and more nurses and midwives in our maternity services.

There’ll also be more sign-on bonuses for graduate nurses and midwives, funding to attract more international healthcare workers and the recruitment of an extra 450 nurses.

A $247 million investment will also train and hire more paramedics with 40 additional extra highly-skilled Mobile Intensive Care Ambulance (MICA) paramedics, and the training and deployment of 25 paramedic practitioners – an Australian first.

The Government will also start establishing Australia’s first Centre for Paramedicine at Victoria University. The Centre will focus on training the next generation of ambos, providing advanced teaching methods – with the capacity to train around 1,500 paramedic students each year.

The pandemic put Australia’s primary care system under a microscope – too many Victorians can’t get into see a GP right now – let alone one who bulk bills.

$32 million in funding will help to get new trainee GPs into the workforce, covering the costs of their medical exams and encouraging students to choose a career in general practice.

Right care. Right place. Right time.

It’s so important that Victorians can get the early care they need – when and where they need it.

Instead of heading straight to the emergency department, Victorian parents will have the early support they need in their parenting journey with $86 million for Maternal and Child Health (MCH) services.

This includes funding to boost consultation time with nurses, breastfeeding support, support for dads and a new multicultural story time initiative. The Early Parenting Centre (EPC) network will also be further expanded, with a new EPC in Northcote and an Aboriginal-led EPC in Frankston.

Making it more straightforward and cheaper for Victorians to get the healthcare they need, the Government will invest $20 million to deliver a 12-month pilot program that expands the role of community pharmacists.

This pilot will enable pharmacists to treat minor illnesses like common skin conditions, administer vaccinations, treat straightforward urinary tract infections and reissue prescriptions for contraceptives.

As well as reducing emergency department presentations, prevention and early intervention are key to the health and wellbeing of Victorian Aboriginal communities, which is why the Government is investing $35.1 million in the Aboriginal community-controlled health sector.

This funding will deliver an additional 100,000 appointments by Aboriginal community-controlled health organisations – the experts in providing culturally safe and effective prevention and early intervention services.

Last year, the government announced the rollout of 25 Priority Primary Care Centres across Victoria. They’re local, free and easy to walk into – and they’ve diverted thousands of Victorians from busy emergency departments.

Another $20.2 million investment, alongside investments by the Commonwealth will keep them open.

Innovative and sustainable healthcare for all Victorians

While hospitals continue to see record demand following the pandemic, they’ll be supported with more than $2.3 billion – including more than $960 million to ensure new and upgraded facilities are patient-ready as we open expanded emergency departments, the new Victorian Heart Hospital and 30 new beds at the Royal Children’s Hospital.

Victoria’s Virtual Emergency DepartmentExternal Link has been accessed by more than 100,000 patients – diverting more than 16,000 Victorians from long waits at hospitals and putting thousands of ambulance crews back on the road sooner.

The Government is ensuring it reaches more Victorians while boosting Ambulance Victoria’s Secondary Triage service and 22 Medium Acuity Transport teams.

Victorians on the NDIS shouldn’t be kept in hospital while they wait for long-term support packages – they should be recovering at home with loved ones. More than $9 million will fund the expansion of Victoria’s Pathways to Home, getting NDIS patients home as soon as it’s safe to do so.

Becoming a parent is a great joy – but it’s not an easy journey for many Victorians, and cost shouldn’t be a barrier, which is why the budget will deliver $50 million to expand Victoria’s first free IVF service.

Victoria will continue to be established as a global leader in paediatric cancer research, with $35 million for the Victorian Paediatric Cancer Consortium to revolutionise childhood cancer treatments and give more children and cancer survivors the chance to grow up happy and healthy.

Women and girls make up half more than half of our population – but for too long, their healthcare concerns have been ignored, dismissed or undiagnosed.

The Government will invest more than $153 million to establish 20 new comprehensive women’s health clinics, an Aboriginal-led clinic and a mobile health clinic, nine new women’s sexual and reproductive health hubs, scholarships to expand the women’s health workforce, an inquiry into women’s pain management and 10,800 extra laparoscopy surgeries.

Victoria’s Local Public Health Units have risen to the occasion time and time again through the pandemic, natural disasters and communicable disease outbreaks.

They’ll continue keep Victorian communities healthy, with a $103 million boost for local health promotion, disease prevention, outbreak management and public health response.

Building and upgrading infrastructure

To build a better healthcare system, Victoria needs the infrastructure to make sure patients get the care they need, when they need it, no matter where they live.

A new $320 million Hospital Infrastructure Delivery Fund will kickstart planning, development and land acquisition for new and upgraded hospitals across the state.

The fund will support:

  • A new hospital and public sector residential aged care facility for West Gippsland.
  • A bigger and better Monash Medical Centre with more operating theatres and a new intensive care unit.
  • An expanded emergency department, new intensive care unit and new outpatient clinic at Dandenong Hospital.
  • A new emergency department and inpatient tower at Northern Hospital.
  • An expanded emergency department and upgraded short stay unit at Austin Hospital.
  • A new emergency department and inpatient towers at Queen Elizabeth II Hospital in Melbourne’s growing eastern suburbs.

A $162 million package will provide better aged care services for regional Victorians, with three new public facilities to deliver modern, dementia‑friendly facilities and support residents with complex care needs.

Builds at Cohuna, Maffra and Numurkah will ensure older Victorians can remain connected to their communities, in facilities providing contemporary care that supports their independence and privacy.

Transforming Victoria's mental health and wellbeing system

Victoria’s mental health and wellbeing system will continue to be rebuilt from the ground up, with every single recommendation from the Royal Commission to be implemented.

Implementing those recommendations will take a decade or more of reform – and across the last three Budgets, the Government has invested more than $6 billion to get on with it.

This year, an additional $776 million will be invested in critical mental health and AOD services including new and upgraded mental health beds, residential rehabilitation beds, community mental health services, suicide prevention initiatives and the rollout of the new Mental Health and Wellbeing Act.

By 2026, the Government will set up 50 Mental Health and Wellbeing LocalsExternal Link , with over $77 million of funding in this budget to open the new “front door” for mental health support.

For individuals who need specialist, hospital-based treatment, $156.6 million will fund 96 mental health beds, including Victoria’s first eating disorders treatment centre, to give an additional 908 Victorians intensive support.

Another $103.9 million will help recruit more forensic mental health staff, support 84 workers to specialise in alcohol and drug services and deliver Earn and Learn Traineeships – so mental health staff can work while they study.

This Budget backs local programs that know the specific mental health needs of their communities, with $2.5 million to establish an LGBTIQ+ suicide aftercare service, continue Strong Brother Strong Sister for young Aboriginal Victorians in Geelong and deliver Youth Live4Life for young regional Victorians.

Victorians living with addiction will be supported to rebuild their lives – with $256 million to build a health-based response to public intoxication, continue the life-saving North Richmond Medically Supervised Injecting Room and expand Victoria’s Naloxone and Pharmacotherapy programs.

Reviewed 08 September 2023


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