Health infrastructure spending has been boosted by an additional $2.8bn over the four years to 2020-21 – an increase of more than 50 per cent over that period – in the NSW Budget unveiled today.
The Budget provides continued allocations for the Westmead Hospital redevelopment (more than $110 million including $20.6 million for the carpark) and the expansion of the Blacktown and Mount Druitt Hospitals (more than $110 million including $6.7 million for the carpark).
The total health budget will be more than $23 billion.
The 2017-2018 Budget includes:
- $366 million for increased hospital activity, including 28,000 extra emergency department attendances and 45,900 extra admissions (including 3,200 additional elective surgeries);
- Almost $1.7 billion in capital works funding to continue the unprecedented program of building and rebuilding hospitals and health facilities across NSW;
- $17.4 million for palliative care as part of a $100 million palliative care package over the next four years. Under the package, almost $7 million will go to services in Western Sydney that will include a 24-hour, seven day a week on-call specialist palliative care service at home. It will also include funding for new specialists, train 300 nurses and allied health staff, and provide 300 scholarships to boost skills in the field of palliative care;
- $9.8 million to recruit an additional 55 specialist nurses/midwives, 10 mental health clinical nurse educators for new graduate and undergraduate support and 30 clinical support officers;
- $2.3 million to provide an extra five rural generalist training and 15 medical specialist training positions, as well as extra medical, allied health and oral health scholarships;
- $7.5 million to employ an additional 50 relief paramedics to assist in reducing fatigue in rural and remote areas;
- $10 million to protect the health and wellbeing of NSW Ambulance staff to help paramedics avoid workplace injuries;
- $10 million to establish an Integrated Violence Abuse and Neglect Service in NSW Health;
- $4.5 million for meningococcal W vaccinations for Year 11 and 12 students, in response to increasing numbers of notifications of this strain in Australia;
- $10 million towards delivering increased oral health services, enabling around 17,000 more patients to receive a course of dental care
- Planning funds for a hospital at Rouse Hill, and
- $6.7 million to tackle alcohol and drug misuse in communities.
The Health Care Complaints Commission will receive more than $700,000 extra to improve complaints handling.
Recurrent spending in health over the coming year will be $21.7 billion, a hike of $1 billion on last year, Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Treasurer Dominic Perrottet and Minister for Health and Medical Research Brad Hazzard announced today.
Ms Berejiklian said the recurrent funding will provide for more health staff, with capital funding to be invested in new and upgraded hospitals, ambulance stations and carparks in 2017-18.
The funding ensures that the NSW Government will have increased the number of health professionals by 4500 – exceeding its election commitment by 1000 positions more than a year early.
The 4500 frontline staff includes an additional 2250 nurses and midwives, 850 doctors, 600 allied health professionals and 800 hospital support staff.
Major funding injections at other facilities across the state include:
- $720 million to upgrade Randwick Hospital.
- $632 million to upgrade Campbelltown Hospital
- $550 million to upgrade Nepean Hospital
- $341 million upgrade to Concord Hospital
- $500 million to upgrade Tweed Hospital, including bigger emergency department.