The McGowan Government is investing $9.6 billion as part of the 2020-21 State Budget to strengthen WA’s health system as it remains critical in protecting the health of the community and keeping Western Australians safe.
General health hospital services will benefit from $168.6 million to continue to meet increasing public demand, which will be combined with an additional $68.9 million for mental health hospital services to provide an overall investment of $237.5 million for WA hospitals.
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 commits $20.9 million for the continued COVID-19 response, which will include funding for the continuation of the State Health Incident Coordination Centre and the Public Health Emergency Operations Centre, as well as minor works for isolation and intensive care spaces.
This funding builds on more than $453 million invested as part of the WA Recovery Plan to reinforce the system’s capability and capacity to support the community’s physical and mental health, while remaining ready to respond to any COVID-19 surges.
Other essential health system and community-based services will also receive an additional funding boost of $80 million, which includes support for the expansion of the School Dental Service across seven new sites, funding for Karlarra House nursing home in Port Hedland and additional funding for in-home health and aged care.
Regional communities will benefit from a range of initiatives, including $9.2 million for country ambulance services and enhanced access and patient flow for country patients, $10.3 million for the WA Country Health Service Command Centre and $18.8 million to operate six regional renal hostels that provide accommodation for renal patients that travel from remote communities.
Other key budget commitments planned and underway to help put patients first include:
- $60.8 million total investment towards the Bunbury Regional Hospital redevelopment;
- $55.5 million for the operational costs associated with implementing a Medihotel pilot program at the Murdoch Health and Knowledge Precinct;
- $35.8 million elective surgery blitz to enable around 6,000 more patients to have their treatment and return elective waiting lists to pre-pandemic levels by 2021;
- $29.4 million for additional medical internships at Western Australian hospitals;
- a further $24.4 million for the expansion of Fremantle mental health beds;
- $22.6 million to establish a laboratory at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital that complies with industry standards and ensures the supply of radiopharmaceutical products for patients and medical research, including procurement of a second cyclotron;
- $22 million towards the replacement of medical equipment across the system;
- $20.1 million to strengthen End-of-Life Care and to support implementation of Voluntary Assisted Dying reforms;
- $19 million for the redevelopment of the emergency department at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and accommodation of a Behavioural Assessment Urgent Care Clinic;
- $15 million to upgrade and remediate the Human Resources Management Information System;
- $7.98 million towards the planning and development of the Broome Health and Wellbeing Campus, a Nyamba Buru Yawuru project, as part of the WA Recovery Plan; and
- $13.3 million for the construction of the Royal Perth Hospital Synapse Innovation Hub.
Other key health projects and election commitments that have been undertaken include:
- $73.8 million hospital maintenance blitz;
- $25 million towards upgrades at Peel Health Campus;
- $82.3 million towards the redevelopment of the Geraldton Health Campus;
- $322.2 million to address methamphetamine issues in Western Australia;
- $6.3 million to build an MRI suite at Kalgoorlie Health Campus and funded new 64-slice CT scanner for Kalgoorlie Hospital;
- $18.8 million towards the new 38-bed residential aged and palliative care facility in Carnarvon;
- $13.3 million to the Pilbara Health Initiative for medical specialists to service Karratha Health Campus and surrounding areas;
- $61.4 million to redevelop the Newman Health Service, includes a $15 million contribution from BHP;
- $1.3 million for the construction of a new renal unit at Newman Hospital, which will house four renal dialyses chairs and supporting infrastructure;
- $1.76 million to refurbish Jigalong health clinic;
- $5.2 million towards Tom Price Hospital;
- $16.8 million towards the new Laverton Hospital project;
- $1.6 million to create culturally appropriate accommodation for Aboriginal patients and their carers while visiting metropolitan hospitals;
- $9.7 million to expand the Emergency Telestroke Service to a 24/7 service;
- $1.6 million over four years for the Find Cancer Early program in regional areas;
- $1.2 million in 2020-21 to continue the Ear Bus Program in the Kimberley;
- $12.2 million to upgrade Collie Hospital;
- $13.125 million to deliver radiotherapy services in Albany;
- rolled-out the GP Urgent Care Clinic Network to provide urgent medical support in the community closer to home;
- $256.7 million Joondalup Health Campus major redevelopment and expansion; and
- $700,000 to construct a new helicopter landing site at the Jurien Bay Health Centre.
As stated by Health Minister Roger Cook:
“The McGowan Labor Government continues to invest in initiatives and a range of services across metropolitan and regional communities that put patients first and provide health support closer to home, even as a focus remains on our ongoing planned and scalable COVID-19 response.
“The significant investment reflects all the moving parts of a robust health system that spans a very big State like WA which is in fact geographically very remote.
“It prioritises safe and sustainable care, whilst always putting the patient first in everything that we do.
“Despite the challenges associated with responding to a pandemic, the continued investment demonstrates the significant commitment being made by the McGowan Government to continue on its transformational journey as set by its Sustainable Health Review.”