26 September 2023

Healthy Budget for healthcare

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New jobs in healthcare are to be established this financial year with funds allocated in the ACT’s 2022-23 Budget for 100 additional full-time equivalent (FTE) positions.

Announced by Chief Minister Andrew Barr, $16.4 million has been allocated to expand the allied health workforce and support more after-hours services.

Mr Barr said this would provide for more physiotherapists, social workers, psychologists, occupational therapists and other allied health professionals.

“This investment will improve patient recovery, reduce hospital length of stay, improve emergency department performance and reduce readmission rates,” Mr Barr said.

“A further $3 million will expand the Nurse Practitioner workforce at our five nurse-led Walk-in Centres, to deliver better healthcare closer to home and deliver on our election commitment to have a Nurse Practitioner available at all Walk-in Centres,” he said.

“Government is also committed to making our health services a safe and supportive place to work.”

Mr Barr said the Budget included $7.2 million to support the ACT’s healthcare workforce with a focus on psychosocial wellbeing and addressing occupational violence.

He said this work would deliver the next step of the Nurses and Midwives: Towards a Safer Culture Strategy, “with a significant increase in resources to embed a positive safety culture across our health services.”

“Additionally, the Government is investing in the delivery of system-wide workforce planning and strategy development to ensure that the ACT Government, local universities and health services are well placed to identify and grow our health workforce now and into the future,” the Chief Minister said.

“Government will invest more than $50 million to support implementation of the Digital Health Record, including by ensuring frontline health service staff can undertake training while minimising service disruption.”

He said the project would transform the day-to-day experience of frontline healthcare workers to make their work easier and more efficient.

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