The Department of Health and Human Services has welcomed funding to provide greater access to additional health and wellbeing services for Victoria’s dedicated doctors, nurses, midwives and healthcare students.
Announced by Minister for Health, Jenny Mikakos, almost $850,000 in funding will go toward expanding existing assistance programs for frontline workers.
In a statement, Ms Mikakos said the extra workload in preparing for the predicted pandemic demand, coupled with mental health issues and stress caused by worry about the global health crisis, could take a toll on the overall health of workers.
“The Victorian Doctors Health Program (VDHP) will receive $500,000 to support more doctors and medical students to access the free, confidential advice and support to help address any concerns about their wellbeing that may have arisen from the pandemic,” Ms Mikakos said.
“This expansion of the government’s existing funding will allow the VDHP to provide more compassionate and confidential assistance with doctors’ health concerns such as stress, mental health problems, concerns about substance use or other health issues,” she said.
“The Nursing and Midwifery Health Program Victoria offers a similar free, independent and confidential support service for nurses, midwives and students of nursing and midwifery who may be experiencing anxiety, depression or have concerns about alcohol or drugs.”
Ms Mikakos said the Nursing and Midwifery Health Program would receive nearly $350,000 to expand its telehealth services and cope with the anticipated increase in demand for its screening, assessment, referrals and individual and group support sessions.