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Massive boost in health spending to deliver on our plan

12 November 2020

Sarah Courtney MP

Minister for Health

2020-21 Budget: Massive boost in health spending to deliver on our plan

The Tasmanian Government has a Plan to rebuild a stronger Tasmania and we are committed to building a better health system, supporting staff, driving better care and delivering the best possible outcomes for patients.

The 2020-21 State Budget includes a record $9.8 billion in health spending over the next four years, which is a record investment by any Tasmanian Government. This is unprecedented resourcing for our system that is recruiting record staffing, opening beds and investing in the facilities our patients and staff deserve.

This is $1.7 billion more than last year's Budget, a 21 per cent increase, and is operational expenditure on top of the $391.2 million capital program being delivered across Tasmania.

This biggest ever uplift in health spending includes $600 million of additional funding for the Tasmanian Health Service over the next four years, announced earlier this year, in a boost to our funding base that will help meet demand in our hospitals and underpin improved health outcomes.

In addition to this, we are providing a $45 million injection into elective surgery, taking our additional investment to $60 million in elective surgery this year and next thanks to the $15 million provided by the Commonwealth Government announced last year. This funding will provide an estimated 8,500 additional surgeries over the next 18 months, above and beyond what was already due to be delivered.

The Government and the THS are also committed to meeting demand in our hospitals with $50.2 million over the next two years to support staff and beds in our major hospitals. This is in addition to $299 million over four years to continue the roll out of 250 new beds at the Royal Hobart Hospital.

There is also $15.4 million over four years to open and staff new beds on Ward 4K, on completion of the redevelopment, and $9.3 million over three years for new services and staff for the Mersey Community Hospital.

We know it is crucial that we support care for patients and their families when they need it most, and that’s why we’re delivering further funding of $1 million over two years for Palliative Care Tasmania.

Further, to support the delivery of cancer related services and programs during the COVID-19 response and recovery period, there will be $500,000 for Cancer Council Tasmania in 2020-21, as well as $3.9 million over two years to support other community healthcare providers.

The Government has always been firmly committed to ensuring our regional communities have modern health facilities for staff and patients, which is why the Budget will deliver $24.4 million over the next two years to upgrade and renovate regional health and ambulance facilities.

This funding is supporting upgrades to deliver better care for our patients, modern infrastructure for our staff, and new spaces for paramedics at rural stations.

My thanks go out to our health staff all over the State who have been working incredibly hard during COVID-19 to ensure our community is safe and continually supported.