Public health funding predictions for 2021-22 Victorian Budget

May 19, 2021

The Victorian Healthcare Association (VHA) expects the Victorian Government’s 2021-22 Budget to deliver significant funding for the public health sector, including further investment in healthcare infrastructure and a record-spend on mental health.

The Government has already shown its focus on the healthcare sector with several pre-announcements including:

  • a commitment to deliver Mental Health Royal Commission recommendations, with the Budget expected to set the roadmap for reform including the pre-announced $349.6 million for the major upgrade of the Thomas Embling Hospital
  • targeted funding to improve flow in emergency departments and assist with opening new beds in health services across the state as part of a $759 million plus package for more paramedics, more triage care and support staff for Ambulance Victoria
  • LGBTIQ+ community initiatives with $45.4 million announced, including $21 million to support the trans and gender diverse communities, particularly the expansion of clinical care at the Royal Children’s Hospital and the Monash Health Gender Clinic
  • improved public fertility care services with $70 million announced to help up to 4,000 Victorians every year and save them on average $10,000 each.

The VHA is calling on the Government to continue this investment, with its pre-Budget submission identifying further funding priorities, including:

  • $120 million over three years to support health and community health services to embed and scale new care and workforce models that reduce the drivers of anxiety, depression and burnout, with implementation of research findings of the Healthcare Worker Wellbeing Centre
  • establishment of a rural workforce surge capacity model, and $20 million over four years to develop and implement a rural health workforce strategy to address issues relating to recruitment, training and development of rural health professionals
  • $180 million to improve place-based collaboration between health services and community health services and develop integrated service plans
  • additional funding to target existing extensive treatment needs for Victorians already on public dental waitlists across the state; additional targeted funding for oral health promotion initiatives to break the cycle of oral health deterioration; and dental care services upgrade
  • finalisation of the Digital Health Investment Strategy, and $100 million to support essential upgrades and strengthen the digital capability of the community health sector.

In addition to monitoring mental health funding, the VHA will also closely monitor announcements for community health, who provided vital support during COVID-19 and beyond, and workforce initiatives.

More information and interviews available

  • Chief Executive Officer Tom Symondson is available to comment on:
    • VHA’s pre-Budget submissions to the Victorian Government
    • public health funding initiatives announced in the 2021-2022 Victorian Budget.