The Queensland Government in Australia has earmarked up to A$1.46bn ($971m) for the Townsville Hospital and Health Service (HHS) under the 2024-25 State Health Budget.

This represents an 11.9% increase aimed at expanding staffing and bed capacity, with a particular emphasis on mental health and wellbeing, and enhancing care accessibility outside of acute inpatient settings.

The substantial budget increment will facilitate a 10.34% rise in full-time equivalent positions, growing the workforce from 5,656 to 6,241 employees. This staffing surge is expected to significantly enhance service delivery and patient care.

The North Queensland Kidney Transplant Service is set to benefit from a A$4.72m funding allocation.

This investment will be pivotal in setting up the necessary governance structures, defining models of care, and aiding in the recruitment and onboarding of staff.

Transplant assessment clinics are anticipated to begin operations by mid-2025.

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A growth funding of A$4.26m has been allocated to the Townsville Hybrid Theatre to support service delivery upon its opening later this year.

This expansion is projected to accommodate 40 more cases per month, focusing on surgeries and procedures that are in high demand in the region, such as vascular and cardiothoracic surgeries, radiology, and trauma care.

Mental health initiatives will receive a boost with up to A$9.1m in funding under the Better Care Together plan. This includes the creation of a new Intellectual and Developmental Disability Mental Health Team and a complimentary six-week programme for new mothers in the area.

The government also allocated A$3.07m to support patient recovery through programmes such as Eat Walk Engage and Hospital2Home to enhance patient recovery journey.

Furthermore, an investment of A$2.96m will be used to provide an additional eight beds through private partnerships, addressing the increasing healthcare demands in the region.

Queensland Premier Steven Miles said: “We are doing what matters for Queenslanders and that means quality healthcare, close to home.

“Our hardworking health staff in north Queensland looked after more than 35,650 people in the first quarter of this year. My upcoming budget will deliver the biggest investment to Queensland Health services, infrastructure and personnel in the state’s history.

“I’m doing what matters to Queenslanders and delivering more frontline workers, upgraded facilities and bigger investment in this state’s health than ever before.”

In May, the Queensland Government announced plans to allocate A$1.44bn ($956m) under the upcoming State Budget for the Cairns and Hinterland Health and Hospital Service.