After 2 years of an unprecedented global pandemic, our healthcare system will receive a $12 billion boost as part of the Victorian Budget 2022/23.
It will help Victorians catch up on the care they missed because of COVID, ease pressure on a stretched workforce, and put the health system in a stronger position to deliver for the future.
The new funding focuses on delivering a Pandemic Repair Plan which will include:
- training and hiring up to 7,000 healthcare workers, of which 5,000 are nurses
- more paramedics, more support for paramedics and increased capacity for Triple Zero call-takers and dispatchers
- a package to recruit, train, upskill and support healthcare workers across the sector
- $2.3 billion to upgrade and build new hospitals, including $236 million to double emergency department capacity in Casey and Werribee
- a record investment in surgical capacity across the state.
It includes a $1.5 billion Covid Catch-Up Plan to increase surgical activity beyond pre-pandemic levels through establishing Rapid Access Hubs, supporting private hospitals to deliver more public surgeries and transforming Frankston Private Hospital into a Public Surgery Centre with the capacity to perform up to 9,000 public surgeries every year once operational.
Delivering these plans requires a bigger workforce, and the investment will help to ease pressure on our healthcare workers.
The workforce highlights include:
- $124 million to put 90 more ambos on the road, including $12 million for a second mobile stroke unit for Melbourne’s south east
- $80 million to deliver an additional 400 perioperative nurses, upskill 1,000 nurses and theatre technicians, and recruit up to 2,000 ex-pat and international healthcare workers
- $59 million to ensure more than 1,125 registered undergraduate nursing students enter the workforce per year over the next 2 years
- $4.7 million to upskill allied health workers
- $5.6 million for an additional 288 graduate enrolled nurses
- $1.5 million to support Aboriginal cadetships, scholarships and training support for Aboriginal health students and workers
- $4.8 million to expand the Healthcare Worker Wellbeing Centre.
Following the success of home-based and virtual care programs during the pandemic, $698 million will be invested in the program to expand the care patients can access in the comfort of their home, without the inconvenience and cost of travel.
An investment of $986 million will help our hospitals and emergency departments meet growing demand, employ the staff they need and open new wards – while $126 million will make sure more Victorians have access to highly specialised therapies and can receive cutting-edge robot assisted surgery.
A $7.24 million boost will strengthen community-based healthcare services by supporting the integration of GPs into 20 registered community health services and support catch-up of deferred care.
To help us keep managing COVID-19, $521.7 million over 2 years will go towards supporting hospitals treating COVID-19, and a further $110 million to continue the COVID Positive Pathways program and to extend 28 general practitioner respiratory clinics.
A $40 million boost will support Local Public Health Units to continue their work and leverage COVID-19 lessons to provide a connected statewide network, which supports local responses to public health issues.
Women's health, safety and wellbeing will be a priority, with $19.4 million being invested to support the delivery of sexual and reproductive health programs, prevent family violence and provide mental health services.
More highlights from this year’s State Budget:
Reviewed 04 May 2022