Daniel Andrews announces home care funding boost to free up hospital beds

Nurses and doctors will be better resourced to deal with rising Victorian demand for in-home healthcare as part of a $700 million funding boost aimed at freeing up hospital beds for elective surgery.

Premier Daniel Andrews said expansion of the state’s in-home healthcare service would reduce pressure on the health sector, which continues to be strained by the “long tail” of the pandemic.

Victorian Health Minister Martin Foley with Premier Daniel Andrews.Credit:Joe Armao

He said the $698 million investment will expand the program – which started as a pilot in 2020 – and allow 15,000 more Victorians to access care at home. It will also help fund telehealth check-ups, he said.

“Today’s budget is all about a pandemic repair plan to make sure that we can treat more patients, give them the very best care and deal with the impacts of this … pandemic,” Andrews said.

He said he received home care in 2021 while he was recovering from a spinal injury. “It’s such a powerful thing to be able to be discharged from hospital to go home,” he said.

The state budget, to be delivered on Tuesday, is forecast to edge back towards a $650 million surplus within four years, with the Andrews government banking on a booming economy as it gears up to fight the November election.

In an upbeat assessment, Tuesday’s budget will predict economic growth of 5.5 per cent this financial year and 3.25 per cent next financial year, 2.25 per cent in 2023-24 and 2.75 per cent in both 2024-25 and 2025-26.

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