Michael Ferguson, Minister for Health
To be absolutely clear – the Liberal Government will keep adding staff to our health system, not cutting them. Under the Liberal Government, the number of nurses, doctors and health staff will continue to rise.
This Government has shown repeatedly that we respond to extra demand in the health system by putting in more money and employing more staff.
When a report came in from the THS in April suggesting we should cut 100 health staff, we rejected that suggestion and instead have added more than 200 new staff since then.
In the first term of Government we added 90 more doctors, over 370 extra nurses, 66 more Allied Health Professionals, and opened 120 more hospital beds. We’ve committed to adding 1300 more staff over the next six years.
In this year’s State Budget in June we put in an additional $465 million in health investment. $400 million more is being spent on health this year than when we came to Government. Under the Liberal Government we’re spending more than 30 per cent of the State’s total budget on health. Under previous Governments this was as low as 24 per cent.
Health is demand driven, we don’t need a report to tell us that. Every year we have budgeted more for health, and every year we flex up our spending to meet additional demand. This year, we’ll be doing that again.
Between 2016 and now demand on our ED Departments has risen by more than 7,000 patients a year. That’s why we’ve consistently said there’s much more to do in health and we’re increasing our spending and our staffing accordingly.
We wouldn’t have committed hundreds of millions of extra health spending in the last budget if we weren’t absolutely clear that there is much more to do in health. Over the next four years, we will recruit an additional 478 full-time staff as we deliver our six-year $757 million plan to build a better health system.