Record health funding in State Budget

Published Tuesday, 13 June, 2017 at 03:15 PM

Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services
The Honourable Cameron Dick

Queensland’s health budget will grow by $1.3 billion to strengthen frontline services, redevelop hospitals, and bolster mental health care.

Minister for Health and Ambulance Services, Cameron Dick, said the health budget would increase to $16.6 billion in 2017-18, continuing the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to ensuring world-class health services for all Queenslanders.

“This budget ensures the money is being spent where it is most needed,” Mr Dick said.

“Almost $14 billion of the total budget will be allocated to Queensland’s 16 Hospital and Health Services and other health providers, for more staff, programs and services.


Ambulance officers and vehicles

“The Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) budget has also increased, growing by 6.9 per cent to $719.6 million, which includes funding to recruit an additional 75 ambulance officers.

“The QAS’s capital budget includes funding for 150 new and replacement ambulance vehicles to meet increasing demand for ambulance services across the state.

“This year’s budget will be another step toward achieving our vision of Queenslanders being among the healthiest people in the world by 2026.”


Capital works — expanding and redeveloping

Mr Dick said the State Budget continued the Palaszczuk Government’s investment in health infrastructure. Key capital highlights included: 

  • $19.6 million over two years to expand Caboolture Hospital emergency department;
  • $112.2 million over four years for detailed planning and preparatory works for redevelopments at Logan, Caboolture and Ipswich hospitals;
  • $10 million in 2017-18 to expand Maryborough Hospital emergency department and refurbish the specialist outpatients department;
  • $138.2 million over four years for mental health infrastructure in South East Queensland and Cairns; and
  • $128.4 million over four years to redevelop or replace Kingaroy, Blackall and Sarina Hospitals, fit-outs of Townsville Hospital’s breast-screen clinic and clinical services, the replacement of the Mer (Murray Island) primary healthcare centre clinical building, and upgrades to staff accommodation across Queensland.


Tackling backlogs 

Funding of $126.5 million will be invested in the Government’s Specialist Outpatient Strategy in 2017-18 to reduce long waits, clear the backlog of patients waiting to see an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist and continue the Clinical Prioritisation Criteria Program which was established to ensure equitable assessment of patients regardless of where they live and the delivery of services in order of clinical urgency.

The Minister said funding had also been allocated to improving services for mental health, disease protection, indigenous health, obesity management and sexual health.


Mental health initiatives

“A key feature of the budget is more than $68 million in additional funds to rebuild and expand mental healthcare services for young people,” Mr Dick said.

‘’This includes the delivery of a new adolescent extended treatment facility at the Prince Charles Hospital; two Step Up, Step Down units for people recovering from mental illnesses; and the refurbishment of two adolescent day program spaces at Logan and the Gold Coast.”

Mr Dick said the Palaszczuk Government would continue to roll out its $350 million Connecting Care to Recovery 2016-2021 strategy, including $4.6 million for a Mental Health Maternal and Baby Unit and $2 million for a Mental Health Older Persons Unit at Gold Coast University Hospital.


Research funding

The Minister said $10 million over four years would be allocated to a new Queensland Health and Medical Research Funding Program.

“This program will provide strong support to innovative, collaborative research that can be applied to frontline healthcare in Queensland,” he said.

“New initiatives that emerge from this program will be co-designed with the research community to ensure that benefits are maximised and complement the government’s innovation agenda.”

This State Budget continues to focus on investment supporting initiatives that improve health outcomes for the disadvantaged and or vulnerable people in our community.


Other highlights: 

  • The 2017-18 Queensland Ambulance Service capital program includes $23.3 million for planning for new ambulance stations in a range of locations including Hervey Bay, Drayton and Kirwan, and redevelopment works at Rockhampton and Cairns stations.
  • An additional $37 million in 2017-18 to deliver an extra 12,000 gastrointestinal endoscopies to meet the growth in demand associated with the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program and ensure timely access across the state.
  • $9.2 million for 12 more inpatient beds at Mackay Hospital and more mental health staff for Mackay HHS;
  • $3 million to commence a 18-24 month business case process to determine future health needs in Toowoomba;
  • $5.3 million to fund the free meningococcal ACWY vaccine for youths aged 15 to 19;
  • $5.2 million of an $8 million package has been allocated to progress the North Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sexually Transmissible Infections Action Plan 2016-2021;
  • $1.5 million to extend the Neurodevelopment Exposure Disorder Clinic (formerly Foetal Alcohol Syndrome) on the Gold Coast to provide a statewide service;
  • $1.3 million to support the development of the End of Life Program;
  • $1.5 million for health-related services to support the transition of 17-year-old youths from Queensland’s adult justice system to the youth system;
  • $700,000 to develop a health treatment component of the re-established Drug Court;
  • $15 million to support the 2017 Winter Bed Management Strategy;
  • $6 million for expansion of paediatric and neonatal retrieval services at Children’s Health Queensland, Metro North and Townsville Hospital and Health Services;
  • $2 million over two years to deliver programs to increase resilience, manage stress and promote wellbeing among health professionals; and
  • Up to $600,000 for activities associated with the proposed regulation of certain cosmetic procedures


Media contact: Michelle Wellington 0437 323 834