Record budget targets health system’s pressure points

Published Tuesday, 13 June, 2023 at 02:45 PM


Premier and Minister for the Olympic and Paralympic Games
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment
The Honourable Cameron Dick

Minister for Health, Mental Health and Ambulance Services and Minister for Women
The Honourable Shannon Fentiman

  • $24.2 billion health budget prioritises frontline services and addresses barriers to health care
  • $19.8 billion goes directly to the state’s 16 Hospital and Health Services (HHSs) – the frontline of healthcare
  •  $764 million plan to tackle ambulance ramping and improve patient access to emergency departments

The Palaszczuk Government has delivered a record health budget that aims to reduce ambulance ramping, ease pressure on emergency departments, and reduce surgical and specialist wait times.

The 2023-24 State Budget also invests in women’s healthcare and mental health services.

Queensland Health will receive $24.2 billion, a 9.6 per cent increase compared with last year’s health budget.

The Government has committed $764 million to reducing ambulance ramping and improving access to emergency departments.

Around $224.5 million is being invested in addressing surgery and specialist clinic backlogs, including continuing the planned care recovery initiative created during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A $34.8 million boost to women’s healthcare to continue the Growing Deadly Families Strategy, expansion of outreach obstetrics and gynaecology services and fund the development of a 10-year Queensland Women’s and Girls’ Health Strategy.

This funding will also be used to act on recommendations by the Hear Her Voice Report 2, including strengthening the capacity of Queensland hospitals to provide high-quality, trauma-informed forensic medical examinations to sexual assault victims and providing trauma-informed domestic and family violence training to the frontline health workforce.

Mental health services will receive a $301.4 million boost, delivering the $1.645 billion Better Care Together: a plan for Queensland’s state-funded mental health alcohol and other drug services to 2027.

Other health budget highlights include:

  • $586.1 million of additional funding for a new 10-year deal for LifeFlight emergency helicopter services, and a further $18.6 million for a new 3-bay hangar at Sunshine Coast Airport.
  • $150 million for a new mental health facility for Redland Hospital.
  • $22 million to provide a $5,000 allowance to each final year nursing and midwifery student on placement at a rural or remote Queensland Health facility
  • $42 million over four years to support women living in rural and regional Queensland to safely birth closer to home, reducing the need to travel to larger centres and support their health and mental well-being
  • $70.3 million over four years to increase Patient Travel Subsidy Scheme rates by $10 per person per night for accommodation and 4c per kilometre for mileage

Quotes attributable to the Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk:

“This record health budget delivers for all Queenslanders, no matter where they live.

“There are national pressures impacting every state and territory but we are taking action to boost health services and health delivery in Queensland.

“More than 80 per cent of the funding – around $19.8 billion – goes directly to Hospital and Health Services – the frontline of healthcare.

“It focuses on improving frontline health services, particularly those that are under immense pressure as a result of increasing presentations and workforce challenges, while delivering infrastructure to meet future demand.”

Quotes attributable to Treasurer, Cameron Dick:

“Our $224.5 million commitment to improving access to surgery and specialist clinics will help thousands of Queensland patients.

“Our $764 million investment will address ambulance ramping and emergency department access issues, and will allow for the use of specialised staff like Transfer Initiative Nurses, patient flow coordinators and Mental Health Nurses to improve the care we provide.

“This investment will have the opportunity to use our nursing, midwifery and allied health extended scope of practice and other alternative pathways for specialist clinics to ensure more patients get the care they need.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health, Mental Health and Ambulance Services, and Women Shannon Fentiman:

“This is my first health budget, and I am delighted that it is such a strong budget.

“Initiatives that can keep people out of hospital are important, which is why we are devoting efforts into strengthening diversion programs, expanding virtual hospital models of care, and initiatives like satellite hospitals and rapid access clinics.

“As Minister for Women, I’m pleased that we can invest $34.8 million in women’s healthcare. This will enable us to develop a 10-year Queensland Women’s and Girls Health Strategy and implement important strategies like Women’s Health Workforce Action Plan, Growing Deadly Families Strategy, and Termination of Pregnancy Action Plan.

“Ensuring every Queenslander has access to high-quality healthcare no matter where they live, is my priority, and this budget will help deliver what Queenslanders expect and deserve.”