Queensland Budget wrap for primary care

June 18, 2024

Hospital sign image WEB RGB

The Queensland Government released its 2024-25 Budget last week, with record investment directed towards health portfolios. Queensland Health’s operating budget has been increased to $4.393 billion over the next four years and is aimed at addressing emerging demand and cost pressures including hospital patient flow, timely access to care and increased pressure on emergency departments.

Other core objectives include boosting First Nations health, women’s health care and strengthening the health workforce.

Key measures

Expanding free vaccines program

Alongside a continuation of the free influenza vaccination for all Queenslanders, free meningococcal B and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccines for eligible infants, children and adolescents will now be available.

Read more about Brisbane North PHN's community vaccine clinics.

$20.0 million over four years to enhance patient flow

Improving hospital discharge initiatives through the expansion of the Long Stay Rapid Response Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Hospital Bedside Hearings programs will enable people who are medically ready for discharge to transition to more appropriate accommodation for ongoing health care needs.

$8.8 million over four years for HealthPathways statewide licence

HealthPathways is a web-based portal with evidence-based information on the assessment and management of common clinical conditions including referral guidance. The pathways are written by general practitioners with support from local GPs, hospital-based specialists and other subject matter experts.

Visit Brisbane North PHN HealthPathways

Additional funding of $13.0 million over two years to expand and implement a statewide trial of community pharmacists working to their full scope

The Pharmacy Scope of Practice Pilot provides a nation-first opportunity to optimise the scope of practice for pharmacists to increase access to high quality, integrated and cost-effective primary healthcare and lessen the impact of workforce shortages and distribution problems across Queensland communities.

Additional funding of $12.8 million over four years to continue Specialist Palliative Care in Aged Care (SPACE) and improve palliative and end-of-life care for people living in residential aged care facilities across Queensland

Under the SPACE model, each Hospital and Health Service delivers contextually appropriate models of care in their local area, partnering with residential aged care staff, families, general practitioners, as well as statewide services to manage complex care needs, support the provision of generalist palliative care, build capacity, and streamline care coordination. Additional funding of $8.4 million is being met by the Australian Government over two years from 2024-25. This brings total funding for SPACE to $21.2 million.

Additional funding of $18.0 million over four years toward the Voluntary Assisted Dying program

Women and Girls’ Health Strategy

Core to the Queensland Government’s budget is improving the health and wellbeing of women and girls across their life course, as outlined in the Queensland Women and Girls’ Health Strategy 2032.

The strategy is supported by an Investment Plan that outlines key initiatives under six priority health action areas, underpinned by system reform goals:

  • enhance the health of priority communities
  • increase prevention and early intervention
  • improve health literacy
  • increase access to gender-informed, integrated and equitable care
  • continue to develop an informed and trusted workforce
  • build a strong evidence base.

Read the Queensland Women and Girls' Health Strategy 2032

First Nations

$324.7 million, including $209.9 million in new funding will be invested to accelerate efforts to address inequity in health and wellbeing outcomes for First Nations Queenslanders.

Queensland Health will uphold a key priority in the National Agreement on Closing the Gap by strengthening and empowering the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community-Controlled Health Sector, in particular the Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council, including the Institute for Urban First Nations Health to invest in First Nations health and wellbeing hubs.

GPs in Schools

To ensure schools are well-placed to support the wellbeing of all students, the Queensland Government has invested in general practitioners in 50 state secondary schools one day per week. The service helps to remove barriers students may otherwise face in accessing timely and appropriate healthcare. The 2024–25 Budget will deliver $21 million to support the continuation of the GP in Schools program for a further four years. A further $10.7 million will support provision of health practitioners in 20 priority primary schools under the $502 million Putting Queensland Kids First package. These programs will help deliver positive outcomes for students’ health and wellbeing, and their readiness and ability to engage at school.

Wellbeing in the earliest years of life

  • $65.5 million for more sustained health home visiting and antenatal support
  • $18.4 million to support healthier pregnancies, including health risk screening during antenatal care
  • $11.1 million to connect parents with essentials for thriving babies
  • $9 million for housing and holistic support for pregnant and parenting mothers
  • $4.1 million to expand weekly text messages to support child development and parental wellbeing.

Read more about the Health Alliance's Starting Well Initiative in the Caboolture region.

Brisbane North PHN together with the Health Alliance look forward to providing further updates on how the Queensland Budget's measures will impact stakeholders and community in the North Brisbane and Moreton Bay region. Stay connected for more information.

Read the 2024-25 Budget Overview
Read Budget Paper No.4 - Budget Measures

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