06 September 2011
Unprecedented investment in NSW health
The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government will invest more than $17 billion in hospitals and patients in the next 12 months in the biggest health Budget to be handed down in the history of the state the Minister for Health, Jillian Skinner, announced today.
This year’s health Budget of $17.3 billion - $950 million more than last year - will rebuild the State’s health system, with $1 billion allocated to capital works to expand and renovate the state’s ageing hospitals to meet growing needs.
Mrs Skinner said this Budget also protects frontline workers, with 940 extra nurses to be employed by June 2012.
Mrs Skinner said the NSW Government also commits to $139 million for the expansion of Campbelltown hospital and $147 million for the expansion of services at Royal North Shore hospital over the next four years, and the commencement of a $170 million e-health project to improve medication safety.
“The NSW Government is delivering more investment than ever into our hospital and health infrastructure across NSW,” Mrs Skinner said.
“This record health Budget also confirms our commitment to significantly improving health care in NSW by making available more hospital beds, employing more nurses and delivering better patient outcomes,” she said.
Major initiatives in the 2011-12 recurrent Budget include:
- $80 million to employ 900 extra nurses by June 2012;
- $4 million towards employing 275 extra clinical nurse and midwife educators and specialists over the next four years;
- $4 million to extend 10-hour night shifts for nurses;
- $36 million to make available 150 beds in acute care, intensive care, neonatal intensive care network and mental health wards, as the first part of a four-year commitment for 550 more beds;
- $56 million towards maintaining 443 acute and sub-acute beds opened in the first year of the COAG National Partnership Agreement to address a funding gap left by Labor;
- $21 million to make available 69 sub-acute beds for general rehabilitation, palliative care and mental health patients under the second year of the COAG National Partnership Agreement;
- $8.8 million for an extra 1,600 elective surgical procedures, as the first part of the election commitment to provide 13,000 more procedures over the next four years;
- $4 million to increase medical graduate positions in public hospitals, train extra interns and create more medical specialist training positions and networks, enabling junior doctors to undertake specialist training;
- $15 million to provide an extra 11,750 enrolments in the Connecting Care Program which helps people with chronic conditions remain at home, reducing unnecessary hospital admissions - part of the $57 million four-year commitment to enable an extra 59,000 patients to access this program;
- $3 million to increase renal services;
- $2 million to support up to 90,000 health checks in about 600 pharmacies to help early identification of potential health problems.
The NSW Government has also committed to a significant capital works program of $4.7 billion over four years, a 50 per cent increase on the previous four years.
In 2011-12, the total capital works program is $1,082 million which is $67 million more than the 2010-11 Budget, and includes a record expenditure of $343 million on new works. This comprises capital expenditure of $921 million, with a further $161 million in recurrent expenditure on the capital works program, which includes capital grants of $61 million.
Major capital works projects include:
- Developing hospital infrastructure at Campbelltown ($139 million), Dubbo Base ($79.8 million), Port Macquarie Base ($110 million), Wagga Wagga Base ($270 million), Prince of Wales Hospital Comprehensive Cancer and Blood Disorders Centre ($47.2 million), and a new St George Hospital emergency department ($35.5 million)
- Planning for the HHF approved South East Regional Hospital at Bega ($170m) and the Tamworth Regional Referral Hospital ($220m)
- An additional $55 million to expand the Royal North Shore Hospital to include 60 extra beds and relocate maternity, mental health and other services that were left out of the previous plans bringing the total estimated cost of this project to $147 million;
- Funding of planning, design and documentation for election commitments over the next four years, including Lachlan Health Service (Parkes and Forbes Hospitals), Illawarra-Shoalhaven hospitals, Blacktown/ Mt Druitt, and Hornsby Ku-ring-gai hospitals and the new Northern Beaches Hospital;
- Funding for planning and land acquisition for the Hunter Valley hospital and planning for the Northern NSW hospital services (Lismore and Byron Bay) and upgrades at Ryde, Gulgong, Mona Vale, Woy Woy and Wyong;
- Upgrades and equipment replacement at Cessnock, Maitland, Kurri Kurri and Wansey and acquisition of land at Waratah,
- Upgrades to car parking at Nepean, Sutherland and Shoalhaven hospitals, and;
- Commencement of a $170 million e-health project to improve medication safety.