Hon Mark McGowan BA LLB MLA

Hon Mark McGowan BA LLB MLA

Premier; Treasurer; Minister for Public Sector Management; Federal-State Relations

Hon Roger Cook BA GradDipBus MBA MLA

Hon Roger Cook BA GradDipBus MBA MLA

Deputy Premier; Minister for State Development, Jobs and Trade; Tourism; Commerce; Science

    Massive $3.2 billion health investment as WA prepares for safe transition

    16/12/2021 6:50 AM
     
    • Additional $1.28 billion Mid-year Review funding sees health and mental health investment rise by $3.2 billion - the highest ever increase
    • Investment to increase WA's health system capacity to prepare for COVID-19
    • Mid-year Review includes $416 million to expand WA hospitals' capacity by an additional 270 beds
    • Total additional 530 beds to be brought online over the next 12 months, the equivalent of a new tertiary hospital
    • Mid-year Review allocates a further $920 million in COVID-19 relief and recovery measures, bringing total investment to nearly $10 billion since the onset of the pandemic 

    The McGowan Government has invested a further $1.28 billion into the health and mental health system in the 2021-22 Mid-year Review. Combined with the $1.9 billion investment at Budget, this has delivered a record $3.2 billion boost to Western Australia's health system.

     

    The additional funding in the Mid-year Review includes the recently announced $398 million to prepare WA to safely transition to living with COVID-19, including an additional 270 hospital beds and associated staff.

     

    The 270 beds include a mix of 120 modular beds and 150 other beds across a range of hospitals, including 40 new ICU beds. The beds will be supported by 410 extra nurses and more than 180 extra doctors working in our hospitals. These will complement the additional 1,200 graduate nurses expected to be employed in 2022.

     

    Combined with the investment at Budget, an additional 530 beds are expected to be added over the next 12 months, the equivalent of bringing online a new tertiary hospital.

     

    The Mid-year Review also includes:

    • an extra $256 million for additional COVID-19 activities - hotel quarantine, the Public Health Emergency Operations Centre, the State Health Incident Coordination Centre, delivery of the vaccination program, and pathology testing;
    • $240 million for hospital services to address health and mental health cost and demand pressures, incorporating $4.5 million for specialised treatment of blood cancers;
    • $200 million to replace WA Health's payroll, rostering and human resource management systems serving around 54,000 staff across the State;
    • $40 million for additional capital works including two additional theatres at King Edward Memorial Hospital and ward refurbishment at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital;
    • $3.5 million for the replacement of staff accommodation at Puntukurnu Aboriginal Medical Service in Jigalong; and
    • $2.3 million for the Newborn Bloodspot Screening program and $773,000 for equipment upgrades for the program. 

    The Mid-year Review also incorporates a provision to undertake a procurement process to contract an operator to commission, fit-out and run a quarantine facility built by the Commonwealth in Bullsbrook.

     

    Furthermore, $17.6 million has been allocated to a number of initiatives to free up existing hospital beds for long-stay patients, including transitioning elderly patients at the end of their hospital stay to community-based settings, and a hospital-to-home transition service for patients awaiting National Disability Insurance Scheme services.

     

    Health measures account for the majority of a $920 million increase in spending in response to COVID-19 in the Mid-year Review. The McGowan Government has now committed nearly $10 billion in response to the pandemic. 

     

    Other COVID-related measures in the Mid-year Review include:

    • $80 million for the new COVID-19 Test Isolation Payment;
    • an additional $9.8 million to maintain enhanced cleaning in schools; and
    • an extra $4.5 million for the State Welfare Incident Coordination Centre to continue supporting the community and returned travellers. 

    Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:

     

    "Western Australia has led the world in responding to the pandemic in terms of both health and economic outcomes.

     

    "As the State prepares to safely transition, we are putting in place additional support to prepare the health system and bolster our responses to COVID-19, including vaccination and contact tracing.

     

    "This investment brings the spending announced this year up to $3.2 billion for health and mental health - the highest increase on record.

     

    "Our strong financial management has provided the capacity to invest in the health system, ensuring WA continues to be one of the safest places in the world as we prepare for the State's safe transition."

     

    Comments attributed to Health Minister Roger Cook:

     

    "As we look to open our borders safely once we reach very high rates of vaccination early next year, we are sharpening our focus on readying our health system for the near future where we are living with COVID-19.

     

    "This additional funding is about ensuring there is capacity in the health system to both respond to the pandemic and deliver health services to Western Australians.

     

    "The funding provides for the ongoing roll-out of more hospital beds and staff; as well as a range of equipment, infrastructure upgrades and resources.

     

    "These improvements we are making to the health system are equivalent to bringing online a new hospital - with an additional 530 beds being delivered around the State."

     

    Premier's office - 6552 5000

    Health Minister's office - 6552 6500