Record $2.7 billion injection for WA health and mental health
- McGowan Government commits record $2.7 billion additional investment in health and mental health in 2023-24 State Budget
- $1.2 billion additional investment in major public hospital infrastructure projects
- $841 million for hospital services, as well as $78 million for COVID-19 related costs
- $544 million over the next four years to commence construction of the new Women and Babies Hospital
- $420 million boost to mental health services and Graylands Hospital redevelopment
- $75 million in new funding to address emergency department pressures and ambulance ramping, increasing the total commitment in this term to $453 million
- $28.5 million in new attraction and retention initiatives, particularly for regional WA
The McGowan Government will invest a record additional $2.7 billion in health and mental health initiatives in its 2023-24 Budget, to improve patient flow and hospital capacity, provide more nurses and doctors and deliver quality healthcare for Western Australians across the State. This increases the total new investment since the 2021-22 Budget to an unprecedented $10 billion.
Under this Government, WA Health's annual budget has grown from $8.8 billion in 2016-17 to $11.8 billion in 2023-24, an increase of 33.4 per cent. The Mental Health Commission's annual budget has grown by a massive 57.3 per cent, from $863 million to $1.4 billion over the same period.
The record new health and mental health investment in this Budget includes $920.6 million of additional spending for WA Health to support core services, $1.2 billion for major public hospital infrastructure, $420 million for mental health and $78 million for health-related spending in response to COVID-19.
Key priorities funded in the 2023-24 State Budget include:
- $74.9 million to reduce ambulance ramping and improve access to emergency care;
- $218.9 million for Stage 1 of the Graylands Reconfiguration and Forensic Taskforce project to provide 53 new forensic mental health beds, of which five are for a child and adolescent unit;
- $99.4 million to complete the first stage of an Electronic Medical Record at WA hospitals;
- $81.1 million to expand public services at St John of God Public Hospital in Midland;
- $75 million contribution to the Bentley Health Service Surgicentre, which is being jointly funded with the Commonwealth;
- $55.2 million for replacement and upgrades of medical and imaging equipment and minor building works;
- $36.3 million to progress the Byford Health Hub project;
- $28.5 million for various existing infrastructure projects to address cost escalation, mainly due to the current challenging market conditions;
- $35.5 million to expand the Government's response to the Infant, Children and Adolescent (ICA) taskforce report, including a new mental health hub pilot in Bunbury;
- $12.9 million for a new CT scanner for Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital; and
- $9.8 million for suicide prevention and $9.9 million for the Active Recovery Team program.
The McGowan Government is also investing $28.5 million in workforce attraction and retention measures to continue to grow WA's valued health and mental health workforce, including:
- $4.2 million to pay up to $12,000 of HECS-HELP loans for up to 350 newly qualified nurses and midwives commencing employment in regional and remote WA, with priority given to hard-to-staff sites; and
- $3.6 million to expand graduate nurse and midwife placements at WA public hospitals by 300 places.
In addition, ten Aboriginal Mental Health Workers will be recruited as part of a $5.8 million boost to ICA services across the State.
Since 2020, WA's healthcare workforce has increased by 22 per cent, despite global shortages, and the McGowan Government continues to invest in measures to further bolster staff numbers.
For more information, visit https://www.ourstatebudget.wa.gov.au
Comments attributed to Health and Mental Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson:
"The McGowan Labor Government is investing record amounts into our public health system to ensure it keeps up with the needs of the entire Western Australian community.
"Our investment in the 2023-24 Budget takes the total new investment in health and mental health since 2021 to a record $10 billion.
"We are growing our all-important healthcare workforce, increasing mental health resources and addressing key challenges, such as ambulance ramping.
"Patient care and wellbeing is at the centre of every health and mental health investment decision we make."
Minister's office - 6552 5900