Victoria’s health system will receive a massive $1.3 billion injection to quickly establish an extra 4,000 ICU beds as we respond to the coronavirus pandemic and protect Victorian lives.
Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos announced the boost, which will secure the ICU equipment, staff and space we need to meet the expected surge in case load at the peak of the pandemic.
At present, Victoria’s public and private health services have approximately 450 fully equipped and staffed ICU beds, but we know that won’t be nearly enough if the spread of the coronavirus continues.
To be ready for the pandemic peak, we are ordering $1.2 billion worth of equipment and consumables we need, as well as investing over $65 million for capital works and workforce training – securing record capacity for our intensive care system.
The order will also see additional personal protective equipment (PPE) purchased, including 551 million gloves, 100 million masks and 14.5 million gowns.
None of us want to see the scenes from Milan, New York and other parts of the world happening here in Victoria.
This is a massive task, but we are preparing Victoria’s healthcare system to rise to the challenge.
Although we are acting quickly to slow the spread of coronavirus, the Government is ordering enough equipment to ensure we have supplies for the worst case scenario.
This investment follows the Victorian Government reaching an in-principle agreement with the state’s major private hospital operators so they can continue to care for Victorians during the coronavirus pandemic and ensure the entire health system is operating at full capacity.
This package is in addition to the $537 million the Victorian Government has already invested in our health system as part of our coronavirus response which has included more beds, ICU equipment and PPE to keep our dedicated health care workers safe.
More information can be found at www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus.