Victoria’s health system has been the centrepiece of the state’s latest budget, which was handed down today.
Hospitals, nurses and paramedics will benefit from a cash injection into health services while millions of dollars was also allocated to build and improve schools.
In an effort to address Victoria’s Triple Zero crisis, more than $333 million has been allocated to upgrade the Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority (ESTA).
Only $241 million of that figure is new money after the government previously chipped in $115 million in January.
Treasurer Tim Pallas said today’s budget looked after all Victorians.
“This was about putting patients first and this budget as always, put the wellbeing of the Victorian people first,” he said.
“This budget supports every Victorian and it doesn’t matter who they are, what they do and who they believe in.
“At its heart, this is a budget that looks after every single Victorian.”
The state’s ESTA services have come under fire after it was revealed that 12 people had died in Victoria since October due to ambulance delays.
The new funding will add nearly 400 new staff to increase call taking and dispatch capacity for Triple Zero services and provide training for more operators to allocate calls across the state.
The funding is expected to address the immediate COVID-19 related demand throughout the pandemic.
Under the budget, more than $2.9 billion will be allocated to build new hospitals and upgrade existing ones.
The new Melton Hospital will receive more than $900 million which will include 24-hour emergency department, more than 100 medical and surgical beds, an intensive care unit, as well as maternity and neonatal services.
However the designs are not expected to be finished until 2024/25.
The build will take a further four years.
While the Werribee Mercy Hospital and Casey Hospital will see their emergency department doubled with $236 million.
Up to 7000 new healthcare workers will be hired and trained up, including 5000 nurses to help ease the pressure on the system.
A $124 million investment will respond to increased demand, including hiring more paramedics.
Another 90 paramedics will also be hired and hit Victorian roads.
Another major focus of the budget was the investment in education.
The budget will invest $1.6 billion to build new schools and improve the existing ones.
Under this, $581.5 million will be used to build 13 new schools, which will open in 2024.
Already announced was a $250 one-off payment to help Victorians cope with rising costs of living.
Victorians need to register on the Energy Compare website to become eligible. From July 1, payments will be made into the bank account used in your online registration.