Victoria’s Treasurer Tim Palace has unveiled a state budget for 2022/2023 focused on health, with $ 12 billion allocated to the state’s health care system.
“Because of the sharp increase in the number of COVID-19 patients in critical condition, health care disruptions that have led to prolonged hospital recovery, and people postponing GP visits, the last few years have really knocked down our healthcare system,” said Treasurer Tim Palace in a statement.
The budget for 2022/23 provides for a “pandemic repair plan” to increase staff, better hospitals and “first-class care,” Palace said. The budget has allocated funding to train and hire up to 7,000 new health workers in the sector. This also includes investing in government services Triple Zero and hiring more paramedics. In addition, more people will receive the necessary help in the comfort of their own home as the “Better Home” program continues.
“This budget also provides regional Victorians who deserve the same level of care as Melbourne residents. We are modernizing regional hospitals and health facilities in every corner of our state with the largest investment in the Regional Health Infrastructure Fund, ”said Palace.
The Victorian Ambulance Union (VAU) welcomed the budget. Danny Hill, secretary general of the Victorian Ambulance Union (VAU), said: “In recent months, the ambulance service has coped with an unprecedented workload. But the increased demand is not due to the growth of car accidents, heart attacks and strokes. It is more dependent on 000 and ambulances due to problems in other parts of the system. So it’s nice to see spending spent on these areas.
“We are pleased to see funding aimed at a broader system in areas affecting ambulance services. Recruiting more paramedics alone does not improve the situation when they spend their shift in the hospital or are used as a taxi. It is our members telling us that they want to be more productive, they want to go out and save lives. So the emphasis on reducing growth is very welcome. ”
According to the VAU, the funding commitments specific to its members include, but are not limited to: 400 additional ESTA operators and dispatchers; 90 additional paramedics in addition to 700 already recruited; an additional mobile stroke unit operating from Monash Hospital; funding of initiatives to prevent the departure of ambulances and initiatives of the task force to respond to medical emergencies; $ 8 million to transfer VEOHRC review recommendations to AV; $ 99 million in fees, support, fleet.
“It is welcome to increase the cost of ESTA to dial another 400 calls and dispatchers. But there is further work to be done on the call reception system, as well as the expansion and integration of referral routes to ensure that ambulances are not sent to low-severity cases that do not require emergency medical care, ”Hill said.
According to the VAU, other areas of health that will have an impact on the ambulance include: the new Melton Hospital; expanded emergency departments in Casey and Veriba; 7,000 new health workers, including 5,000 nurses; $ 300 million for regional health; $ 500 million for the new Barvon Women’s and Children’s Hospital; $ 698 million for the Better Home program, which treats patients at home after discharge (this aims to speed up discharge from the emergency department and hospital and reduce workload); 300 new psychologists, 100 new psychiatrists, 400 nurses; and $ 195 million for a new mental health facility in the Goulburn Valley.
The Better Home program is a great initiative, and it is the innovation we need. Better care for patients at home after discharge from the hospital reduces the likelihood of subsequent ambulance calls. These initiatives are releasing ambulances to respond to emergencies, ”Hill said.