- Budget includes more than $220 million in additional funding to reduce COVID-19 risk
- Builds on strong $9.6 billion investment in health services and initiatives in 2020-21
- Additional $18.1 million to boost the COVID-19 public health response
- $80 million for hotel quarantine and COVID-19 preparedness initiatives
- $23 million for additional COVID-19 medical equipment across the health system
- $39.6 million for regular and high frequency cleaning in WA schools
- $45.5 million for WA Police to continue its response to the pandemic
- $13 million to continue additional cleaning on public transport
- $2.7 million to expand production of reusable face masks in WA prisons
Western Australia's safe and strong Budget includes a funding boost for important measures to strengthen WA's response to COVID-19 and continue to reduce the public health risk across the community.
The Budget includes an additional $18.1 million for the State Health Incident Coordination Centre (SHICC) and the Public Health Emergency Operations Centre (PHEOC) to continue their operations into 2021.
These two emergency operation centres provide strategic management in co-ordination and response to the COVID-19 pandemic and advice to Government to facilitate the State-wide pandemic response.
The additional funding will ensure these core activities are continued and make sure the health system can continue to monitor the virus, prepare for any potential surge, and allow the State to move towards recovery.
A total of $80 million has been included for costs expected to be incurred by WA Health for quarantine and COVID-19 preparedness initiatives.
COVID-19 preparedness initiatives include almost $1 million for a comprehensive respiratory protection program for WA hospitals to offer respirator fit-testing to staff at highest risk of exposure to measles, tuberculosis and COVID-19 to achieve a good fit with respirators and other PPE worn by staff.
The program will see 12,500 staff undergo fit testing over a 12-month period and includes the roll-out of an awareness and education program.
An additional $23 million has been allocated to WA's health system to ensure adequate levels of COVID-19 medical equipment.
This significant investment means WA can continue its planned and scalable approach to respond to further outbreaks and follows the $9.6 billion investment as part of the 2020-21 State Budget.
General health hospital services will benefit from an additional $168.6 million to continue to meet increasing demand, which is on top of an additional $68.9 million for mental health hospital services. This additional $237.5 million investment for WA hospitals, strengthens WA's health system as it remains critical in protecting the health of the community and keeping Western Australians safe.
Investments are focused on high-quality and sustainable healthcare for all Western Australians within a wide range of hospital, community and regional settings given how vast WA is.
The State Budget includes additional funding to continue the response to COVID-19 across a range of government agencies, including:
- $45.5 million for WA Police to continue its role in mitigating the risks and impacts of the virus;
- $13 million to continue additional cleaning on public transport across the State, including Transperth trains, buses and ferries; Transwa trains and coaches, and train stations;
- $2.2 million in additional funding for WA Police's Public Information Call Centre to respond to COVID-19 enquiries and assist in processing Good to Go (G2G) travel exemptions;
- $39.6 million to provide regular and high frequency cleaning in WA schools throughout Semester 2, to ensure the safety of students, staff and community;
- An additional $2.7 million has been allocated to expand production of reusable face masks in WA prisons; and
- $4.9 million for the State Welfare Coordination Centre to continue co-ordinating the provision of emergency welfare services including emergency accommodation, food and provisions, emergency clothing and personal requisites, personal support services, registration and reunification and financial assistance.
Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:
"The State Budget is focused on keeping Western Australia safe and strong.
"This investment will ensure our health system can continue to respond to COVID-19, while reducing the risk in our schools and on public transport.
"This Budget commitment is part of a co-ordinated response in Western Australia to ensure we have sufficient stocks of face masks available for an extended period should public health experts deem they be required.
"By using local suppliers, we are supporting Western Australian businesses and local jobs to recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19.
"Western Australia's world-leading response to the pandemic and our hard border have put us in a strong position to continue our recovery.
"It means our financial position is better than expected, and we are well placed to invest in vital equipment and cleaning programs to reduce the public health risk posed by COVID-19."
Comments attributed to Health Minister Roger Cook:
"The Western Australian response to COVID-19 has helped keep our State safe and WA the envy of many other parts of the world.
"Western Australians have done a remarkable job to stop the spread of COVID-19, however, it is critical that we are prepared for all scenarios, including the possible return of the virus.
"Our Government has pledged to do whatever it takes to support our public health system through the disruption caused by COVID-19 and make sure we maintain a co-ordinated and effective public health response.
"The continued incidence of COVID-19 and uncertain nature of the pandemic means that the WA health system must remain vigilant and maintain its response and readiness activities.
"PHEOC and SHICC play a vital role to continue to minimise COVID-19 transmission, manage initial cases and contacts, and prepare and support the broader health system's operational response.
"This additional funding will help to ensure that the WA health system remains agile and stands ready to protect the health and wellbeing of Western Australians and limit the impact of any future outbreaks of the disease.
"Ensuring our frontline workers have the very best protection from COVID-19 and other airborne diseases and are properly educated in the use of PPE is a high priority, and one which we are well positioned to address whilst we have no community transmission of COVID-19.
"The major investment in respirator fit-testing will enable a significant educational program to be implemented and see around 12,500 staff undergo a fit-test."
Premier's office - 6552 5000
Health Minister's office - 6552 6500