- McGowan Government commits record $2.5 billion in additional funding to health and mental health in the 2022-23 State Budget
- WA Health's annual budget has grown from $8.8 billion in 2016-17 to $11.6 billion in 2021-22, an increase of 30.9 per cent
- $1.3 billion additional investment in WA Health services, $995 million for COVID-19 health response and $181 million boost to mental health services
- $252 million to boost and reform WA's hospital emergency capacity
- $223 million towards new health infrastructure and major hospital redevelopments, totalling $1.6 billion, in addition to the $1.8 billion new Women and Babies Hospital
The McGowan Labor Government will invest a record $2.5 billion in health and mental health as part of the 2022-23 State Budget that has been handed down today.
This takes new investment in Western Australia's health system to a massive $5.7 billion since the 2021-22 Budget in September last year.
Under the McGowan Government, WA Health's annual budget has grown from $8.8 billion in 2016-17 to $11.6 billion in 2021-22, a 30.9 per cent increase. Removing the impact of COVID-19 expenditure, Health's business as usual spending grew by $623 million (or 6.4 per cent) in 2021-22 and will grow by a further $335 million (or 3.3 per cent) in 2022-23.
The record $2.5 billion investment in this Budget comprises $1.3 billion of additional spending for WA Health on services and infrastructure, $995 million for health-related spending in response to COVID-19 and a further $181 million boost for mental health services.
A key element of the uplift in funding in the 2022-23 Budget is a $252 million Emergency Department Reform Package, which comprises 17 initiatives, to continue to improve hospital emergency capacity and address ambulance ramping. This important work is a focus for the State Government and will be overseen by a new Ministerial Taskforce led by the Health Minister.
Key initiatives of the Emergency Department Reform Package include:
- $55.8 million to embed 24/7 registered nurses across 15 metropolitan and regional emergency department waiting rooms;
- $74.1 million for more appropriate forms of care for long stay hospital patients;
- $55.2 million for telehealth services which provide patient care for people who do not need emergency department support and reduce emergency department presentations;
- $18.2 million investment in real-time data capability to manage system pressures and improve the flow of patients through emergency departments;
- An additional $10.5 million to expand the Virtual Emergency Medicine pilot program - to better triage incoming ambulance patients;
- $10.8 million to continue the Active Recovery Teams Pilot Program for another year;
- $10.1 million to expand the capacity of the Complex Needs Coordination Team;
- $7.3 million to continue the Perth Sobering Up Centre and Low Medical Withdrawal Service;
- $3.5 million for the Cardiff Model of Violence Prevention Pilot aimed at reducing alcohol-related emergency department presentations at Royal Perth Hospital;
- $2.4 million for the Emergency Access Response Program, to identify solutions for long term improvements to emergency care to reduce ramping; and
- $3 million to prepare a business case for a State Health Operations Centre, which would seek to deliver better patient outcomes by ensuring better coordination for people in need of emergency care including expediting access to specialist services, diverting unnecessary presentations to emergency departments and coordinating between regional and metropolitan services.
In the two years to March 2022, the WA Health workforce has increased by 15.6 per cent, including an additional 1,456 nursing and 512 medical full-time equivalents (FTE) (principally doctors).
The health workforce will be further bolstered with initiatives including $8.1 million for the International Medical Graduates registration project, $3.5 million to establish the final year of neurology training in WA to help retain neurologists locally, and funding for a $3.7 million pilot program to establish and commence the Aboriginal Health Practitioners profession in WA.
Since the last State Budget, an additional 342 beds have been added to the public hospital system with a total of 530 beds to be added by the end of this year - the equivalent of building a new tertiary hospital.
The 2022-23 Budget includes an additional $223.4 million investment in health infrastructure increasing investment in new health infrastructure to $1.6 billion over the next four years. This is on top of the $1.8 billion set aside to construct the new Women and Babies Hospital.
The new health infrastructure investment in this Budget includes:
- $44 million to increase the Medical Equipment and Imaging Replacement Program;
- $38.1 million for Stage 1 of the Electronic Medical Record, including an initial roll out at five hospitals;
- $16.7 million to build a 10-bed pod to upgrade the intensive care unit (ICU) at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital;
- $7.6 million for refurbishment works within the Neurological Intervention and Imaging Service of WA unit at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital to house two new biplanar units; and
- $5.9 million to commence site development and forward works for the Byford Health Hub.
Funding for the planning of new significant health infrastructure investments include:
- $10 million to develop business cases for the State-wide reconfiguration of mental health services and Graylands Hospital redevelopment; and
- $2.5 million towards the development of a business case to inform options for the proposed WA Comprehensive Cancer Centre.
Regional WA communities will benefit from a $158.3 million investment towards a range of initiatives, including:
- a further $49.4 million to deliver the next stage of the Geraldton Health Campus Redevelopment;
- $30.1 million for 18 additional paid paramedics and six additional ambulances in regional WA, delivering on an election commitment;
- $18.5 million to expand the WA Country Health Service Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service frontline workforce across seven regions by 11.6 FTE;
- $13 million to build and operate a new Albany General Dental Clinic;
- $10 million of Royalties for Regions funding to deliver specialist paediatric, cancer, haematology, stroke and neurology services at the Karratha Health Campus;
- $5.1 million in 2022-23 to continue the WACHS Mental Health Emergency Telehealth Service;
- $5 million in additional funding to address the most urgent and critical staff accommodation issues;
- additional $2.3 million in 2023-24 for the Broome Step Up/Step Down (SUSD) facility and an additional $1.6 million for the Karratha SUSD to address construction cost pressures; and
- $920,000 for the planning and design of a new renal dialysis centre in Halls Creek.
Mental health, alcohol and other drug services in WA will also be bolstered with a $1.3 billion to be spent in the 2022-23 Budget year, which is almost a 13 per cent increase on last year's Budget.
As part of this new investment, the Mental Health Commission will be allocated an additional $181 million for new and expanded mental health, alcohol and other drug services.
This increase includes $47.3 million to respond to recommendations of the Taskforce into Infant, Children and Adolescent (ICA) mental health including:
- $18.5 million to expand the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service frontline workforce across seven regions by 11.6 FTE;
- $12.9 million for additional peer support workers;
- $10.5 million to deliver a two-year virtual support service for at-risk children; and
- $1.3 million for mental health workforce development initiatives.
The State Budget also provides $6.1 million to continue a range of Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder prevention initiatives, and $3.5 million for suicide prevention services.
The State will also contribute $26.5 million in new spending and in-kind contributions included in the Budget to support the WA Bilateral Schedule to the National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Agreement, which delivers a $61.5 million joint investment into mental health and suicide prevention.
For more information, visit https://www.ourstatebudget.wa.gov.au
Comments attributed to Premier and Treasurer Mark McGowan:
"This State Budget sets yet another record for health and mental health spending in Western Australia and builds on the unprecedented investment of previous years by this Government.
"The massive $2.5 billion investment we have announced today builds on the significant $3.2 billion commitment towards health and mental within the past eight months.
"The continued and increased investment will ensure we continue to deliver a health system that meets the needs of all Western Australians and is fit-for-purpose for generations to come.
"We continue to invest in our COVID-19 pandemic response which has resulted in world-leading vaccination rates, while at the same time safeguarding our economy.
"Simultaneously to our pandemic management, we are embarking on major reform processes to address the root cause of some of the more challenging aspects of health delivery faced right around the country, such as emergency care."
Comments attributed to Health and Mental Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson:
"The McGowan Government is continuing our record investment into our health and mental health systems in the 2022-23 State Budget to deliver a modern, future-proof system for all Western Australians.
"We know strong health and mental health systems have a tangible positive impact on people's lives which is why we are prioritising significant investment in these crucial areas.
"Our ED package will significantly improve the way emergency care is provided in Western Australia by continuing and expanding the virtual emergency medicine initiative, by funding packages for long stay patients in hospital, and planning for a new State operations centre to co-ordinate services.
"We are also continuing to invest heavily in initiatives to build our heath care workforce, which has already grown by 1,101 FTE since our Belong recruitment campaign was launched."
Premier and Treasurer's office - 6552 5000
Health and Mental Health Minister's office - 6552 5900