SPENDING on Health will increase by 6.4 per cent to $13.6 billion under the 2014-15 budget – two billion dollars more than that committed by Labor in the last budget.
Health services on the Gold Coast received a one billion dollar cash injection, a 10.4 per cent increase when compared to 2013-2014.
Gold Coast Health was allocated an operating budget of $1.064 billion for 2014-15, $100.3 million more than the previous $964 million.
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A Low-acuity paramedic service will be introduced across the coast, as well as in the Townsville and Metro South and North areas.
Health Minister Lawrence Sprinborg said the budget increase would enable significant service expansion on the Gold Coast during 2014-15, including in the Darling Downs, Metro South and on the Sunshine Coast.
More than 80 percent of the allocated $13.6 billion will provide public healthcare services including Hospital and Health Service Boards, Mater Health Services and St Vincent’s Health Australia.
In line with the Government’s commitment to frontline health delivery, Hospital and Health Service’s will also benefit from $96 million in savings realised through corporate changes to the Department of Health administration in 2012-13.
“Across the state, it provides for capital investment of $1.55 billion to build new health facilities and to continue our campaign to address the longstanding maintenance backlog inherited from Labor,” Mr Springborg said.
“New and expanded services will include orthopaedics, radiation oncology, mental health services, urology, respiratory medicine, dialysis, endoscopy and allied health services.
“New and expanded children’s health services will include new clinics to treat obesity, pain and allergies, a specialist adolescent service, and paediatric renal treatment.”
Later this year, the opening of The Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital in South Brisbane will also create the biggest public children’s hospital in the country.
From July 1, Queensland’s first Health Ombudsman will take full responsibility for an integrated state-wide health complaints network.
More than 150 new and replacement ambulances will be also be rolled out across the state, along with an extra 100 ambulance officers.
Further activities that will commence from July 1 2014 include:
- Initiatives to optimise the use of the allied health professional workforce to improve patient access and address waiting times;
- delivery of a Mobile Surgical Van pilot program for rural and remote communities;
- planning to establish Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) services at Toowoomba Hospital;
- continuing ongoing funding of $4.1 million per year for hearing health outreach services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children under the award winning Deadly Ears, Deadly Kids, Deadly Communities program;
- supporting the Government’s ‘Safe Night Out’ strategy by delivering compulsory counselling for individuals involved in alcohol related violence;
- expanding mental health and well-being support for rural drought declared communities;
- a further $5.5 million to help five Hospital and Health Service’s enhance ambulatory and primary health care models including mental health, chronic disease, emergency care and outreach services;
- investment of $1.2 million to jointly fund Wellbeing Centres at Aurukun, Hope Vale, Coen and Mossman Gorge with the Australian Government.
Highlights of the 2014-15 Capital investment program include:
- $255.2 million towards the Lady Cliento Children’s Hospital and Centre for Children’s Health Research (total cost of $1.513b);
- $369.8 million towards the Sunshine Coast Public University Hospital (total cost of $1.872b);
- $114.2 million allocated to Hospital and Health Services for capital purchases and health technology equipment;
- $81.8 million to continue the $327 million four year Backlog Maintenance Remediation Program providing capital expenditure and maintenance funding to address high priority and critical operational maintenance, life cycle replacements and upgrades.