The state government has announced an immediate $200 million dollar funding injection for Queensland’s struggling hospital system amid the latest COVID threat.
The money will go towards helping the health system cope with the increase in COVID cases which is expected to peak in a matter of weeks, not months.
The state’s COVID numbers have doubled in 48 hours with 42 cases recorded on Sunday.
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Chief Health Officer Dr John Gerrard warned on Sunday that the Omicron strain will become the dominant variant in Queensland within days
“This is happening very rapidly, again even more rapidly than we originally predicted, we thought that might take weeks, it looks like if this trend continues it will be dominant within days,” Dr Gerrard said.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says the funding boost has been made possible by Queensland’s strong economic recovery.
“It’s because of our strong health response that we have such a strong economy,” the Premier said.
“Strong and healthy Queenslanders make for a strong and healthy economy so it stands to reason that we should return some of those dividends to keeping Queenslanders healthy.”
Aside from dealing with increased COVID cases, money will also go towards capital works, support for out-of-hospital care, and support for virtual models of care including virtual care hubs and Health Direct.