Flu Funding Boost To Treat More Hospital Patients

The Andrews Labor Government is delivering a $115 million boost to give Victoria’s busy hospitals relief from a massive surge in demand following one of Victoria’s worst-ever flu seasons.

Visiting the Royal Melbourne Hospital today, Minister for Health Jill Hennessy, announced that all public hospitals as well as 15 Bush Nursing Centres will share in a special funding support package.

This year’s flu season has resulted in sustained pressure on Victoria’s health system with more than 14,000 flu cases reported across Victoria so far.

Over winter there has been a surge in people visiting emergency departments. In August alone, more than 3,900 people visited emergency departments each day – the largest ever for August on record.

Hospitals right across the State have risen to the challenge, dedicating significant resources and staff to providing Victorians world class care this winter and flu season.

This funding package will support hospitals to ensure a record number of patients can get the care they need from emergency departments faster, for the remainder of the year. Quicker hospital transfer times will also enable paramedics to get back on the road sooner and save more lives.

People waiting for elective surgery will also benefit with more people than ever expected to receive surgery in 2017/18.

This boost is another part of the Labor Government’s actions to manage the flu season and meet rising demand on the health system. While the peak is coming to an end, hospitals continue to urge patients with less severe illnesses to contact their GP, a pharmacist – including Victoria’s 24/7 Supercare Pharmacies – or NURSE-ON-CALL.

The extra $115 million boost comes on top the record $1.67 billion provided in the Victorian Budget 2017/18 to support hospitals to meet demand and provide high quality, safer care to patients, no matter where they live.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Jill Hennessy

“This flu season has hit us hard. Every single one of our public hospitals has been working overtime so Victorians can continue to have access to the care they need – when they need it.”

“Our dedicated doctors, nurses, paramedics and other healthcare workers have done a remarkable job in the face of unprecedented demand – ensuring patients are receiving the first class care they deserve.”

Quotes attributable to Ambulance Victoria Chief Executive Officer Tony Walker

“This funding will not only support our hospitals, but it will help our ambulance services move patients quicker through emergency and get our paramedics back on the road sooner.”

“Our ambulances are there for life-threatening emergencies–the best way we can help Victorians is if we’re out on the road. This boost will help us get there.”