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Parliamentary Questions

Question On Notice No. 233 asked in the Legislative Council on 11 August 2021 by Hon Dr Steve Thomas

Question Directed to the: Minister for Mental Health representing the Minister for Health
Parliament: 41 Session: 1


I refer to the media release of 8 August 2021, outlining the Government's annoucement of $1.9 billion to be added to the health budget in the upcoming State budget, and I ask:
(a) how many of the 332 new beds to be opened will be housed in existing buildings and how many will be in as yet unbuilt wards;
(b) how many of the new 332 beds will come from currently existing but unstaffed beds or wards;
(c) how many of the 100 new doctor and 500 new nurse positions will be permanent full-time positions;
(d) what is the annual budget impact of the additional wages of those additional staff and new beds;
(e) will this additional wage cost continue past the next election when the Government's iron ore revenue is expected to correct to normal long run levels; and
(f) if yes to (e), what savings will the Government make to cover the additional annual costs?

Answered on 16 September 2021

I am advised:


143 of the 332 new beds are in existing buildings

140 of the 332 new beds have required, or will require, construction works in existing buildings in order to open  

30 of the 332 new beds are Hospital-In-The-Home (HITH) Mental Health model of care

19 of the 332 new beds are unbuilt.


(b) 45 of the new 332 beds are from existing buildings but unstaffed beds or wards


(c) Individual staff preference and operational need will determine the mix of permanent and full time roles. The State Government is committed to maximising permanent employment where possible.


(d) Once the new beds become fully operational, the annual budget for the new beds will be over $165 million, which includes over $105 million on additional wages.


In addition, $66.6 million of capital budget has been allocated over the forward estimates towards increasing bed capacity in the system.

(e)-(f) Recurrent wage costs will be a reflection of the staff required to provide services. The State Government will continue to fund health services at significant levels to meet demand.