Australian State Covid-19 Bill Hits $3 Billion With More To Come
SYDNEY — The bill for New South Wales’ Covid-19 management has reached an Au$4 billion ($3 billion), with another Au$1.1 billion ($0.83 billion) set aside in the 2021/22 budget to continue the state’s virus suppression and vaccine rollout efforts.
New South Wales Health received a total of Au$30.2 billion ($22.67 billion) in the budget of June 22, made up of Au$27.1 billion ($20.34 billion) in recurrent expenditure and Au$3.1 billion ($2.33 billion) in capital spending.
The money is allocated to the construction or refurbishment of 18 metropolitan and 28 regional hospitals and health facilities, Health Minister Brad Hazzard said. Bradley Ronald Hazzard, an Australian politician, is the New South Wales Minister for Health and Medical Research since January 2017 in the Berejiklian government.
Of the Au$1.1 billion ($0.83 billion) set aside for Covid-19 pandemic management in 2021/22, more than Au$260 million ($195.18 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 New South Wales Hunter. Sydney Olympic Park is a suburb of Greater Western Sydney, located 13 kilometers west of the Sydney central business district, in the local government area of the City of Parramatta Council. It is commonly known as Olympic Park but officially named Sydney Olympic Park.
Pop-up clinics, testing and contact tracing efforts are set to cost Au$200 million ($150.14 million) in 2021/22, while Au$340 million ($255.24 million) has been put aside for the acquisition of personal protective equipment for frontline services and for warehousing PPE supplies.
Almost Au$150 million ($112.60 million) has also been allocated for medical treatment for those in the state’s hotel quarantine system.
Away from the pandemic, the government on June 22 announced an Au$214 million ($150.14 million) boost to the New South Wales Ambulance budget, including more than Au$54 million ($40.54 million) over four years to improve the agency’s use of aircraft, potentially including jets.
Almost Au$34 million ($25.52 million) will also go into training paramedics to become specialist intensive care paramedics, with 80 percent to be stationed in regional New South Wales.
And Au$70 million ($52.55 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,” Hazzard said.
The government has previously announced almost Au$83 million ($62.31 million) in funding to palliative care services and more than Au$8.5 million ($6.38 million) to Parkinson’s disease treatment.
(Edited by Vaibhav Vishwanath Pawar and Ritaban Misra)