The Palaszczuk Government is delivering an extra $163.7 million to create 351 new beds across Queensland’s hospital network.
The government’s record investment in health is part of the state’s COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan to create jobs while keeping Queenslanders safe.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the 351 new beds would help to tackle unprecedented demand in the public health system at a time when resources are also being prioritised for Queensland’s pandemic response.
“The health of all Queenslanders is my government’s greatest priority,” the Premier said.
“This pandemic has tested our health system. And with the delta strain now posing a significant threat to Queensland, we’re not out of the woods yet.
“Increasing capacity at our health services will ensure we can relieve pressure on some of the state’s busiest hospitals.
“This additional $163.7 million investment means 351 new beds through a combination of additional public hospital beds and the commissioning of beds from the private sector.
“These 351 beds represent the equivalent of delivering a major new hospital similar in size to Queensland Children’s Hospital.
“Investing in health is what good Labor governments do. We’ll always invest in health to keep Queenslanders safe and rebuild our economy.”
Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Yvette D’Ath said Queensland’s health system was experiencing stronger demand for services than ever before.
“Activity across Queensland’s public hospital network is at an all-time high,” she said.
“Our doctors, nurses, paramedics and allied health workers are treating more patients than ever as we fight the deadliest global pandemic in a century.
“Delivering new beds at this time of peak demand will help to ensure Queenslanders can continue to access the quality health care they need.
“Today’s announcement comes on top of the extra $100 million we’ve committed to fund new initiatives to relieve pressure on our busy emergency departments.
“All up, our $263.7 million commitment will deliver 416 new hospital beds throughout Queensland.
“This is all about supporting better ambulance response times and getting Queenslanders into hospital beds quicker.
“It will also target initiatives to improve patient flow, enhance ED access and expand the surgery connect program.”
The extra hospital beds will delivered in Hospital and Health Services where demand for services is greatest:
- Cairns and Hinterland – 8 new beds
- Darling Downs – 44 new beds
- Gold Coast – 28 new beds
- Mackay – 8 new beds
- Metro North – 68 new beds
- Metro South – 80 new beds
- Sunshine Coast – 36 new beds
- Townsville – 10 new beds
- West Moreton – 57 new beds
- Wide Bay – 12 new beds
Ms D’Ath said the Palaszczuk Government’s record $22.2 billion health budget would create extra hospital capacity at a time when it’s needed most.
“The Palaszczuk Government has a proven track record of delivering new hospital beds,” she said.
“Between 2015 and 2020 we’ve opened an extra 1,137 new beds in our hospitals along with the clinical staff needed in the face of rising demand.
“Since 2015, we’ve added an extra 2,814 doctors, 9,131 nurses and 4,880 allied health practitioners.
“This term of government we’re hiring an extra 9,475 frontline health workers as we continue to deliver record health funding.
“As we continue our COVID-19 economic recovery, this funding will help us continue to deliver the best health outcomes for Queenslanders.”