Community Health Reform

RECORD BREAKING $26.7 BILLION HEALTH BUDGET

This week the NSW Treasurer, Dominic Perrottet, was joined by the Minister for Health, Brad Hazzard, to announce a record $26.7 billion dollar for health in the 2019-20 NSW Budget.

What to know:

The Government’s health investment includes a $2.7 billion dollar spend on top of $24 billion in recurrent spending over the coming year – taking the total 2019-20 health budget to $26.7 billion.

The recurrent funding investment will focus on families with additional funding to provide an extra 8,000 paediatric operations and 10,000 cataract surgeries, over four years.

What Minister Hazzard had to say:

“This record Budget will see the first stage of an unprecedented boost to the frontline workforce with an extra 8,300 staff over the next four years under a $2.8 billion commitment – 45 per cent to staff to go to the regions.

“This record Budget will ensure patients, their families and those in regional communities already doing it tough in drought-affected areas continue to get timely, world-class care, no matter where they live.”

The health highlights:

  • $2.8 billion to recruit a total of 8,300 frontline health staff over four years;
  • $10.1 billion over four years to invest in NSW’s health infrastructure to continue current works and commence upgrading and building a further 29 hospital and health facility projects, as well as ensure compliance with new leasing standards;
  • $70 million over four years to provide 35 new free mobile dental clinics allowing access to dental checks and basic dental care for up to 136,000 primary school children in Western Sydney, Mid North Coast and the Central Coast each year;
  • $42 million over four years to provide women with greater choice around IVF services and a partnership with the University of NSW for the first state-wide fertility preservation service for young cancer patients at The Royal Hospital for Women;
  • $76 million over four years to boost elective surgery, focusing on children and cataract patients, with delivery of an additional 8,000 paediatric operations and 10,000 cataract surgeries in addition to the investment in frontline staff;
  • $27.1 million to employ 221 paramedics and call centre staff (second tranche of record 750 workforce announced last year) to improve response times, reduce paramedic fatigue and support safety;
  • $23.5 million for mental health to expand the capacity of Lifeline and Kids Helpline over four years;
  • $45 million over four years in palliative care for 100 palliative care nurses, Aboriginal health workers, digital health solutions and the refurbishment of existing facilities. This is in addition to a $100 million package for palliative care that was announced as part of the 2017-18 Budget; and
  • In 2019-20, the Government will invest $2.9 billion in the Health capital program, which includes $148 million from the Ministry of Health’s recurrent expense budget and $78 million for lease acquisitions.

Health infrastructure investment:

One of the largest health projects in NSW is on track to deliver world-class care to local communities for decades to come. This includes a $2.7 billion spend on health infrastructure in 2019-20, up 27 per cent on last year.

The record $2.7 billion health infrastructure investment in 2019-20 will enable the following works:

  • Commencement of new works John Hunter Hospital ($780 million), the Children’s Hospital at Westmead ($619 million) and Tumut Hospital ($50 million);
  • Continuing works at Griffith Hospital, Goulburn Hospital, Hornsby Hospital and Mona Vale Hospital;
  • New hospital car parks at Liverpool, Shellharbour and Wagga Wagga; and
  • Planning for major projects including Sutherland Hospital, Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network at Randwick and the Comprehensive Children’s Cancer Centre, and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.

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