Budget Boost To Help Geelong Fight Winter Flu


Barwon Health will have the support it needs to fight the flu this winter, thanks to a boost for emergency departments from the Victorian Government.

Member for Geelong Chris Couzens, Member for Bellarine Lisa Neville and Member for Lara John Eren today announced $50 million from the Victorian Budget 2018/19 to help hospitals open more beds, hire more doctors and nurses and treat more patients.

As part of this boost, Barwon Health will receive $1,960,000 to address their local winter demands in a range of ways that best suit their community’s needs – for example, putting on more doctors and nurses, or opening more beds to treat more patients.

Last year, Victoria experienced a horror flu season – one of the worst on record –  with more than 48,000 confirmed cases of influenza and a record number of people presenting to emergency departments each day.

This early Budget funding boost will see 17 of Victoria’s largest health services get the extra funding they need to plan now ahead of winter and cater for more patients presenting to emergency departments with the flu.

The State Government is also providing $3.5 million to provide free flu shots for Victorian children aged six months up to five years, available from May 2018.

This early Budget boosts builds on the record funding provided in last year’s Budget that saw hospitals receive $1.67 billion to help meet demand and provide the care Victorian patients deserve.

“We’re giving families peace of mind that if another horror flu season hits this winter, our hospitals will be ready," said Premier Daniel Andrews.

“Our doctors, nurses and paramedics did a remarkable job last winter in the face of unprecedented demand. This year, we’re making sure they have the pre-winter funding boost they need to get ahead of the game,” said Minister for Health Jill Hennessy.

“Young kids can be especially vulnerable to nasty colds and flu. It’s why we’ve stepped in to make sure they’ll be protected with free flu shots ahead of winter," said Member for Bellarine Lisa Neville.

“This is all about peace of mind. By investing in our hospitals and providing flu shots for kids, we’re giving Victorians the best chance at a flu-free winter," said Member for Lara John Eren.

Source: State government media release