Victoria Share Of Health Budget Less Than Needed

Victoria Share Of Health Budget Less Than Needed

Victoria Minister for Health David Davis

Additional Commonwealth-State Funding For Victorian Health Services

Victor P Taffa

The Victorian community will benefit from an extra $440 Million in funding for public hospitals as a result of the successful COAG outcome negotiated in Canberra earlier this year.

Visiting the Alfred Hospital today, Victorian Health Minister David Davis announced with Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon funding of $6.5 Million for six emergency department short-stay beds and eight new operating theatre recovery bays.

Mr. Davis said the Victorian community would benefit from the deal negotiated by the Premier at COAG in February.

“The funding under the National Partnership Agreement on Improving Public Hospital Services will support the Victorian Government’s commitment to improved access to elective surgery, treatment in emergency departments and subacute care.” Mr. Davis said

 

Mr. Davis said the agreement will fund treatment for an extra 32,000 Victorian patients this year. Funding of $89.4 Million will also flow from the agreement to new capital projects across 13 health services (20 campuses) that will increase elective surgery and emergency department capacity and improve patient care.

These projects will see the opening of 106 new hospital beds, including at least 60 short-stay beds, six intensive care and additional high-dependency beds. Emergency department treatment will be streamlined with an extra 20 emergency department cubicles plus additional recovery bays, theatres, procedure rooms and day surgery capacity.

Mr. Davis said the Victorian Coalition Government has made a commitment to initiatives to reduce access blockages and free up capacity in hospital emergency departments, and to a more equitable approach to elective surgery patient waiting lists.

“This agreement also provides significant new investment in subacute services for people recovering after a hospital stay, illness or injury.” Mr. Davis said.

$115.3 Million of the subacute capital investment in Melbourne and $61.6 Million in country Victoria will provide services to an extra 3,600 patients.

The subacute investment will provide 326 new subacute beds, centre and home-based care in Victoria over four years, including:

  • $27 Million to build 30 acquired brain injury rehabilitation service units and 2 independent living units at Caulfield;
  • $25 Million for 30 new subacute beds to support inpatient services and a community rehabilitation centre at Mornington;
  • $13.5 Million to build 24 subacute beds to support inpatient services at Echuca.

Mr. Davis said 19 hospitals and health services would share in the subacute expansion.

Victoria welcomes this additional investment in its health services.

However, the Victorian Government continues to remain concerned the Victorian community is not getting its fair share of Commonwealth funding. The outcome of last week’s Federal Budget is another example of Victoria missing out.

Victoria received just $182.5 Million for 15 projects under the Health and Hospitals Regional Priority Round, representing around 14 % of the $1,328.8 Million that was invested in projects across Australia, well below Victoria’s population share of 25 %.

This is a poor outcome compared with $446.4 Million for New South Wales, $243 Million for Tasmania (including $250 Million for the Royal Hobart Hospital Redevelopment) and $163.9 Million for Queensland.

Victoria will also miss out on funding for long-stay older patients, receiving only $33.2 Million over three years under the National Partnership (NP) on financial assistance for long-stay older patients, representing a 12 % share of the available funding. The 2010-11 Federal Budget estimated Victoria would receive $70 Million over three years based on a per capita share.

The new funding share is based on a census of long-stay older patients. Victoria has a relatively low number of long-stay older patients due to significant state investment to reduce length of stay.