Tuesday’s budget includes a big spend on health to treat more people, build more hospitals and employ more doctors, nurses and health staff.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the $19.2 billion health budget is up $929 million on the year before.
“I make no apologies for investing the biggest share of our budget on health,” the Premier said
“The vital job of caring for families right across the state by delivering the best possible healthcare and hospital system is a must do for a Labor Government.
“We’re employing more doctors, nurses and allied health professionals than ever before. In fact, this year we’re expecting to hire nearly 800 more nurses, 200 more doctors, 250 more health professionals and 200 more ambulance officers.
“We’re improving and building better hospitals, with $777.7 million infrastructure investment over the next year which includes major redevelopments at Logan, Caboolture and Ipswich Hospitals.
“This builds on the 5,988 nurses, 2,020 doctors, 1,761 health professionals and 508 ambulance officers hired since 2015 as part of our commitment to restore front-line services.
“The 400 nurse navigators and 100 midwives positions we committed to at the last election will be permanent jobs with a $147.5 million funding boost.
“These nursing specialists have already made a world of difference to the lives of so many patients across Queensland.
“And they will now enjoy the security of a permanent job and not a temporary contract.”
Deputy Premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad said the biggest ever spend on health will save more lives and help more Queenslanders than ever before.
“Our hospitals will be supported by a record $18.45 billion operational budget to keep up with the increased demand for our public health services,” Ms Trad said.
“On an average day, our hard-working doctors and nurses provide inpatient care to more than 10,700 patients, specialist outpatient services to more than 12,600 people, and around 5,500 emergency services.
“To meet this ever growing demand the health budget is up 6.6 percent on last year.”
Health and Ambulance Services Minister Steven Miles said the 2019/20 budget has increased funding to keep reducing waiting lists.
“This health budget is about continuing to deliver world class health services to Queenslanders, no matter where they live,” Mr Miles said.
“Another $77.4 million will go to the on-going Specialist Outpatient Long Wait Strategy and will deliver an extra 120,000 appointments and 13,000 elective surgery procedures.
“This strategy has lowered the backlog of patients waiting for outpatient appointments from 104,000 under the LNP to just over 53,000.
“Keeping the pressure on further cutting wait lists in the face of growing demand and population growth is an essential, key priority for us.
“We will keep the momentum going for building better hospitals.
“This year’s health infrastructure budget will deliver projects to ensure there are enough beds available to keep meeting increased demand.”
This year’s infrastructure investment includes:
- $36.3 million commitment for the redevelopments of the Logan, Caboolture and Ipswich Hospitals as part of the Building Better Hospitals program.
- $78.6 million to continue the redevelopment of the Roma Hospital and upgrade of the Gladstone Hospital Emergency Department.
- $1.4 million for the upgrade of the Redland Hospital, to provide additional Emergency Department beds and birthing facilities.
- $40.7 million for projects in the Rural and Regional Infrastructure Package, including the construction of a new community hospital in Blackall and redevelopments of the Sarina and Kingaroy Hospitals, Townsville Hospital’s Clinical Services and Maryborough Emergency Department and Specialist Outpatient Department.
- $27.9 million to complete a new Adolescent Extended Treatment Centre at The Prince Charles Hospital, two new Youth Adolescent Step Up Step Down units in Logan and Caboolture, and the refurbishment of two adolescent Day Program Spaces at Logan and the Gold Coast.
The budget includes total funding of $46.6 million to deliver a new multi-storey car park at the Caboolture Hospital, $352.9 million for the Caboolture Hospital expansion, $460.9 million for the Logan Hospital expansion, and funding for a new 22-bed adult acute mental health inpatient unit at Hervey Bay Hospital.
Minister Miles said there was significant funding for mental health services and supports.
“Demand for public mental health services has continued to increase - mental health issues affect one in five people in our community,” he said.
“This Budget has put a spotlight on mental health with $61.9 million of new funding committed to support initiatives to reduce rates of suicide.
“This includes establishment of the new Way Back initiative to provide follow-up support after a suicide attempt, and establishment of Safe Spaces – Safe Haven Cafes for people experiencing suicidal crisis.
“Increased investment in Community Mental Health Support Services delivered by non-government organisations, working with HHSs, is also being provided.”
Premier and Minister for Trade
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk
Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships
The Honourable Jackie Trad
Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services
The Honourable Steven Miles