The bill for NSW’s COVID-19 management has reached $4 billion, with another $1.1 billion set aside in the 2021/22 budget to continue the state’s virus suppression and vaccine rollout efforts.
NSW Health received a total of $30.2 billion in Tuesday’s budget, made up of $27.1 billion in recurrent expenditure and $3.1 billion in capital spending.
The money was allocated to building or refurbishing 18 metropolitan and 28 regional hospitals and health facilities, Health Minister Brad Hazzard said.
Of the $1.1 billion set aside for COVID-19 pandemic management in 2021/22, more than $260 million will be allocated to the state’s role in Australia’s vaccine rollout.
This includes mass vaccination clinics at Sydney Olympic Park and soon in the NSW Hunter.
Pop-up clinics, testing and contact tracing efforts will cost $200 million in 2021/22, while $340 million has been put aside to buy personal protective equipment for frontline services and to warehouse those supplies.
Almost $150 million has also been allocated for medical treatment for those in the state’s hotel quarantine system.
Away from the pandemic, the state government on Tuesday announced a $214 million boost to the NSW Ambulance budget, including more than $54 million over four years to improve the agency’s use of aircraft, potentially including jets.
Almost $34 million will also go into training paramedics to become specialist intensive care paramedics, with 80 per cent to be stationed in regional NSW.
And $70 million will be allocated to bolster security at hospitals, including programs to “de-escalate tensions” in emergency departments and a pilot program involving police and mental health clinicians.
“Purpose designed hospital and health facilities drive improved health outcomes and experiences for patients, their families and our dedicated health staff,” Mr Hazzard said.
The government has previously announced almost $83 million in funding to palliative care services and more than $8.5 million to Parkinson’s disease treatment.