Australia’s Northern Territory (NT) Government is making investments to expedite the construction of two key health facilities in the region.

Aimed to improve healthcare services for residents and alleviate hospital pressures, the investment has been made as part of the A$2.2bn ($1.4bn) 2024 Health Budget.

The NT government is allocating A$32m to open more healthcare facilities, which also includes planning and early works for an elderly care facility in Palmerston and a health centre in Borroloola.

Almost A$10m of this A$32m will be used to service the land in Palmerston Regional Health Precinct, supporting the preparation works for the Palmerston elderly care facility, which will have 120 beds.

Around A$2m will be provided for the design of this facility, which aims to meet the needs of the local ageing population.

Increasing aged-care beds is seen as a critical step to reduce emergency department demands, with the number of residents aged 65 years and older projected to reach 35,000 by 2041.

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The Borroloola health centre is being developed with A$20m of funding and aims to improve primary care in the Roper Gulf region.

It will feature emergency bays, consulting rooms, dental and X-ray facilities, renal facilities, a hearing booth and a morgue.

The development is expected to attract healthcare professionals to the Northern Territory and provide care closer to residents’ homes.

In addition, the government’s operational Health Budget will receive increases of A$200m in 2023-2024 and A$100m in 2024-2025.

NT Health Minister Selena Uibo said: “Given the unique health pressures the Northern Territory faces, primary health needs to be strategically sustained by addressing areas of pressure with long-term solutions. 

“These new facilities will ease hospital pressures across the Territory and provide modern facilities for our front-line workers, as well as support workforce attraction, retention and training to grow our own workforce.”