Record $33 billion for healthcare in New South Wales

The NSW Government is investing a record $33 billion in health as part of the 2022-23 NSW Budget, demonstrating its commitment to ensuring world-class health services for people right across the state.

On top of more than $30 billion in recurrent funding, the NSW Government will invest $2.8 billion in capital works to continue building and redeveloping hospitals and health facilities, delivering improved health outcomes for NSW families and communities.

Premier Dominic Perrottet said the record investment in the State’s public health system would benefit the people of New South Wales both now and well into the future.

“The NSW Government is committed to ensuring everyone across the State continues to receive first-class care from our biggest-ever workforce in fantastic healthcare facilities throughout the State,” Mr Perrottet said.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the $33 billion investment would ensure continued support of the health system as it recovered from the pandemic, including almost $900 million for the COVID-19 response.

“This is a very healthy budget. We are delivering an unprecedented workforce boost, fast-tracking those elective surgeries delayed by the pandemic, and investing heavily in important services such as palliative care,” Mr Hazzard said.

“Our dedicated health workers have been incredible throughout this pandemic, and we will support them in their ongoing efforts with more than 10,000 full-time equivalent staff over the next four years, with more than 7,000 in the next year alone, as part of a record $4.5 billion investment.

“The health workforce went to extraordinary lengths during the pandemic and have rightly earned the admiration and gratitude of the entire State. A $3,000 bonus will provide a budget boost for a workforce that has stepped up above and beyond, as we transition into a new phase of delivering world-class health services to the community.”

Minister for Regional Health Bronnie Taylor said residents of the State’s regional and rural areas would benefit from thousands more healthcare staff and a significant investment in their healthcare facilities.

“Our regional and rural communities are set to benefit from the largest boost to their health workforce in the State’s history, with 3,800 more staff over the next four years, as well as an innovative and targeted overhaul of training and recruitment processes to address the key challenge of attracting clinicians to work and live in the bush,” Mrs Taylor said.

Treasurer Matt Kean said the health capital works Budget would deliver critical new hospital redevelopment projects.

“After facing the biggest health challenges in more than a century, now is the time to focus on our investment in hospitals, as emergency services and frontline health workers in metropolitan, regional and rural areas,” Mr Kean said.

We are supporting families today while investing in a world-class health system as part of this Budget’s focus on building a brighter future for people right across New South Wales.”

Key health highlights of the 2022-23 NSW Budget include:

·       $1.76 billion for NSW Ambulance to recruit 2,128 new staff and develop 30 more new NSW Ambulance Stations in a major boost to frontline emergency care. The record investment will provide NSW with 1,858 extra paramedics, 210 ambulance support staff, 52 nurses and eight doctors over four years, ensuring it has the largest paramedic workforce in Australia

·       $2.9 billion for mental health services and supports for people across NSW, including $143 million across four years for Towards Zero Suicides to fund suicide prevention initiatives, and $28.5 million over four years for Lifeline to boost crisis-counselling services

·       $899 million to fund the ongoing costs of the COVID-19 response, including:

o   $287 million to continue the overall hospital response, including testing in all hospitals and health facilities

o   $253 million for personal protective equipment to keep frontline workers safe to continue to deliver the care that patients require

o   $180 million for the operation of COVID-19 clinics o $161 million to continue the public health response, including surveillance and testing in the community

o   $19 million for the management of long COVID-19

·       $743 million over five years to ensure NSW residents have access to the highest quality care and pain management services for end-of-life care. This funding boost, on top of the $300 million the NSW Government already invests each year in palliative care, will deliver an additional 600 staff once the program is fully rolled out, and new dedicated palliative care units in two major hospitals, Westmead and Nepean, as well as developing and refurbishing existing palliative care facilities across the State

·       $408 million over two years to fast-track elective surgeries delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic response. This funding boost will take the Government’s total commitment to reducing elective surgery wait times delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic response to almost $1 billion, on top of $2 billion invested in elective surgery every year

·       $270 million over four years to transform the State’s biomedical and biopharmaceutical landscape, including the Sydney Biomedical Accelerator Complex at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Camperdown and the Westmead Health Precinct’s Viral Vector manufacturing facility

·       $150 million over four years to expand and enhance the Isolated Patients Travel and Accommodation Assistance Scheme to improve access to timely specialist and preventative care and reduce out-of-pocket expenses for patients in rural, regional and remote areas

·       $80 million over four years to extend and expand the Affordable IVF Program to support families with the high costs associated with pre-IVF fertility testing, fertility treatments and preservation. About 12,000 women who are using private fertility clinics will benefit from the rebate; another almost 6,000 women will be given access to publicly supported IVF treatment

·       $40 million to ensure women struggling with problematic menopause will access a network of dedicated health services. The funding will deliver 16 holistic menopause services and fund a state-wide education and awareness campaign focusing on perimenopause and menopause

As part of the Budget, the NSW Government is also delivering on its pledge to ensure health services across the State are well placed to deliver first-class care by investing $3 billion on contemporary health infrastructure, as part of an $11.9 billion investment over the next four years.

Hospital upgrades and redevelopments starting in 2022-23 include:

• $460 million for the Integrated Mental Health Complex at Westmead

• $263.8 million for the Grafton Base Hospital Redevelopment

• $200 million for the Bathurst Health Service Redevelopment

• $111.5 million for the Cessnock Hospital Redevelopment

• $80 million for the Temora Hospital Redevelopment

• $45 million for the Albury Hospital Redevelopment

• $25 million for the Finley Hospital Upgrade

• $20 million for the Forster-Tuncurry health facility

• $10 million for the Broken Hill Hospital Emergency Department

• An extra $82.5 million for the Prince of Wales Hospital Acute Services Building fit-out, resulting in a total government contribution towards the Prince of Wales Acute Services Building project of $802.5 million

• An additional $60 million for the Eurobodalla Regional Hospital Redevelopment, with the government’s total investment now $260 million towards the new hospital to be built in Moruya

• An additional $40 million for the Cowra Hospital Redevelopment, which means the government is investing a total of $110.2 million for the redeveloped hospital

• An additional $30 million for the Glen Innes Hospital Upgrade, resulting in a government commitment of $50 million towards the redevelopment

Hospital upgrades and redevelopments in progress across the state include:

• Bankstown Hospital (new) ($1.3 billion)

• Nepean Hospital ($1 billion)

• John Hunter Health and Innovation Precinct ($835 million)

• Randwick Campus ($783 million)

• Royal Prince Alfred Hospital ($750 million)

• Liverpool Health and Academic Precinct ($740 million)

• Tweed Hospital and Car Park ($723 million)

• The new Shellharbour Hospital and Integrated Services and Car Park ($722 million) • Sydney Children’s Hospital Randwick ($658 million)

• Campbelltown Hospital ($632 million)

• The Children’s Hospital Westmead Stage 2 ($619 million)

• Shoalhaven Hospital ($438 million)

• St George Hospital ($385 million)

• Lismore Base Hospital ($313 million)

• Griffith Base Hospital ($250 million)