Budget is good for health

The North West Hospital and Health Service has got a $16.2 million funding boost in the 2017-18 State Budget.

Health Minister Cameron Dick said the overall budget of $172.5m was 10% more than the 2016–17 operating budget of $156.3m.

“This budget ensures the money is being spent where it is most needed,” the Minister said.

“Residents in the North West of the State will benefit from additional mental health staff, nurse navigators, expanded telehealth services, more allied health support for patients in rural and remote communities, and additional outpatient support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients.”

Mr Dick said the priority for this health budget was on frontline services.

Some highlights of the 2017–18 budget for the North West include:

$1.4 million to support recruitment of additional mental health staff;

$1.6 million for continuing recruitment of nurse navigators to improve patient care;

$750,000 to assist with providing additional allied health support to patients in rural and remote communities, together with additional outpatient support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients;

$215,000 additional telehealth funding to improve the outpatient journey;

The recent signing of a tripartite agreement with Western Queensland Primary Health Network and Gidgee Healing will support integrated care to improve health outcomes of the population of the Lower Gulf; and

Mr Dick said 98% of Category 1 elective surgery patients in the North West received their surgery within the clinically recommended waiting time of 30 days, along with 100% of Category 2 patients (90 days) and 100 per cent of Category 3 patients (365 days).

“Emergency departments at North West Health facilities are also performing well with 89%of all patients being seen, treated and either departed or admitted to the main hospital within four hours,” he said.

“This is significantly higher than the state-wide emergency access target of 80%.’’