The Government of Western Australia (WA) has announced a $73.6m (A$100m) funding for Perth’s emergency departments in the upcoming 2021-22 State Budget.
This support package is part of $1.3bn (A$1.9bn) additional health investment in the Budget.
The new package will see the addition of 50 full time equivalent staff, including medical, nursing, allied health and support services.
It is expected to reduce bed block, relieve ambulance congestion, improve patient flow and better support the health workforce.
The package has $45.3m (A$61.6m) mental health support component, including $5.8m (A$7.9m) for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services to reduce waitlists and increase staff.
It will be used for the construction of two new mental health emergency centres at Rockingham and Armadale hospitals, as well as for the creation of a new multidisciplinary team pilot called active recovery team at various locations.
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These teams will provide a tailored community-based treatment for the individuals who repeatedly present at emergency departments as they recover from an acute or crisis episode.
The allocated investment will be used for the expansion of adult community treatment services that support people with mental health issues.
Western Australia Health Minister Roger Cook said: “Over the past 12 to 18 months throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our hospitals have been subject to an unprecedented increase in demand, which has put staff and resources under strain.
“By combining a boost in staff, together with mental health initiatives and the latest virtual monitoring, we will be able to improve patient flow and better support our staff.”
Additionally, Cook has announced an investment of $1.6m (A$2.3m) into the virtual emergency medicine system to extend this service to Rockingham General Hospital and Peel Health Campus.
A $3.5m (A$4.8m) investment was also announced by the health minister for the Perth Children’s Hospital emergency department, to employ an additional 16 nurses.