The state government has announced a plan to tackle the health crisis after Covid hospitalizations rose by 99 per cent amid a fresh surge.
The Victorian Government has unveiled a plan to tackle the health crisis after it emerged the number of people in hospital with Covid-19 had risen by 99 per cent in a matter of weeks.
The same period also saw a 60 percent increase in Covid ICU admissions and a nearly 50 percent increase in sick leave.
Infections are expected to rise further as modeling shows the surge will peak in mid-August.
These problems are putting pressure on hospitals already struggling with bed availability, while numerous emergency code reds have been issued this year due to staff shortages linked to Covid and flu.
It led to the State Government announcing a $162 million package on Sunday that will place 400 extra specialists at 12 major hospitals in Victoria.
These new workers will consist of nurses, triage physicians and discharge coordinators to support a health system that was short of more than 10,000 employees in the first week of July alone.
Premier Daniel Andrews said the programme, based on a system used in Leeds in the UK, was designed to help discharge, assess and treat patients more efficiently and quickly.
“This investment is part of our plan to support our health professionals and ensure Victorians get the care they need,” he said.
“Giving our nurses and doctors an extra pair of hands and making improvements to help patients get through our emergency departments faster will ensure Victorians get the care they need faster as Australia faces a tough winter.”
It comes after the Alberta Hospital in Melbourne’s south announced on Thursday it was postponing some elective surgeries and procedures due to a rise in Covid cases and hospital admissions.
The Alfred will be one of 12 hospitals to receive additional specialist staff.
Other measures included in the package: two new children-only GP pediatric respiratory clinics at the Royal Children’s Hospital and Monash Children’s Hospital, and a trial between Ambulance Victoria and some public and private hospitals where private emergency departments will support all patients .
The third phase of Victoria’s health system’s winter response was also launched, unlocking additional measures such as using the capacity of private hospitals to support public patients and converting more hospitals to tier one streaming services.
Health and Ambulance Minister Mary-Ann Thomas said the changes were aimed at helping the state’s hard-working health staff.
“All of our health workers do incredible work in challenging environments – and this package is designed to give them the support they need to get Victorians the care they deserve, sooner,” she said.
Victoria recorded 9,630 new Covid cases and 16 deaths on Sunday, while 760 people are in state hospitals with the virus and 37 patients are in intensive care.
Originally published as Hospitalizations for COVID-19 in Victoria have risen by 99 per cent in less than a month