A record 10,148 full-time equivalent staff will be recruited to hospitals and health services across the State over four years, in the nation’s largest-ever health workforce boost, as part of the NSW Government’s 2022-23 Budget.
Premier Dominic Perrottet said 7,674 more workers would be recruited in the first year, which will help ease pressure on COVID-fatigued health staff and fast-track more elective surgery for patients.
“Everyone in NSW is indebted to our health workers for their selfless efforts throughout the pandemic, remembering for a long time there was no vaccine and they risked their lives each day to care for patients,” Mr Perrottet said.
“This record investment will help us care for health staff across the State, providing the respite and back-up they need. It will also boost staff numbers in hospitals to deliver quality health care closer to home, ensuring better health outcomes and a brighter future for NSW families.”
The additional staff will include nurses and midwives, doctors, paramedics, pathologists and scientific staff, pharmacists and allied health professionals, as well as support and ancillary staff who ensure the continued operations of NSW hospitals and the wider public health system.
Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the NSW Government’s $4.5 billion investment over four years is intended to relieve pressure on existing staff and will ensure there are appropriate levels of health staffing for its pipeline of health infrastructure projects.
“Backing in our existing staff with additional staff to support them is critical. As the NSW Government has delivered 170 hospitals and health facilities since 2011, with a further 110 underway, this funding will also ensure those new hospitals will have the workforce of today and the future,” Mr Hazzard said.
Minister for Regional Health Bronnie Taylor said the staffing boost will also be extended to rural and regional NSW, where communities are waiting with open arms to welcome additional skilled health professionals.
“This Government has funded more positions for health staff in the regions than any other. We are leading the nation in our efforts to bring the best and brightest health professionals to the bush,” Mrs Taylor said.
Treasurer Matt Kean said a strong feature of this health workforce budget was a boost to NSW Ambulance which has been under unprecedented pressure, with historically high call rates.
“We will provide immediate relief and support for NSW Ambulance, with $1.76 billion to recruit 2,128 new staff and open 30 more stations,” Mr Kean said.
“Four years ago, we delivered more ambulance staff than any previous NSW Government. Now thanks to our outstanding economic management, we can deliver even further support for our dedicated paramedics.”