Good start to 2020-21 Budget – but more investment needed

November 24, 2020

The Victorian Healthcare Association has welcomed the important initiatives and investment released in advance of the 2020-21 Victorian Budget to support the broader health sector.

While Victoria has faced countless challenges in 2020, ranging from bushfires through to a global pandemic, Victoria’s health system has stood strong, highlighting many of its strengths. The upcoming budget is an important opportunity to cement, support and grow what the sector has learnt during the past year.

The initiatives announced so far include:

  • $868.6 million worth of funding for mental health in Victoria, with key activities to support the health system in delivering reforms identified in the interim report from the Royal Commission
  • $235 million to strengthen the sector’s capacity and address chronic workforce shortages with the creation of new jobs across mental health, family violence, health and child protection
  • $120.9 million over three years for health services to deliver clinic appointments, chemotherapy, post-surgical care, rehabilitation and other hospital services in people’s homes
  • $9.8 million to support healthcare workers who have tirelessly cared for the Victorian community during the coronavirus pandemic, including a new healthcare worker wellbeing centre
  • $5.3bn towards building 12,000 social housing homes throughout Victoria, delivering 9,300 new homes, as well as the replacement of 1,100 existing public housing units, with 2,000 of the new homes for people living with mental illness.

The funding mirrors many of the activities that the VHA has encouraged in previous submissions, including the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System, and what the VHA heard during its COVID-19 consultations with members.

While this investment is vital, the 2020-21 Victorian Budget must go beyond this to support the health sector for the long-term health of all Victorians.

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