Expenditure on health services has grown from $4.8 billion in 2008-09 to $8.6 billion in 2016-17 with five per cent growth in 2016-17. Health expenditure is expected to grow at an average rate of approximately 3.9 per cent per annum in the next four years.
WA Treasurer Mike Nahan announced the State Government’s Methamphetamine Strategy to tackle Perth’s drugs “epidemic” in the 2016-17 Budget.
“Perth has grown up over the past eight years and we have not been without growing pains,” Nahan says. “The use of methamphetamines in people aged over 14 is higher in Western Australia at 3.8 per cent of the population than the national average of 2.1 per cent.
“Our police and courts testify on a daily basis to the impact this drug is having on crime and mental health within our community and we have to stop it.”
The Government has set aside $15 million to establish:
- a pilot specialist methamphetamine clinic
- eight low-medical withdrawal beds in the North Metropolitan and South Metropolitan areas
- 52 residential rehabilitation beds in the South Metropolitan and Northern and remote regions
- 13 additional fixed term full-time employees for the Community Alcohol and Drug Service and extra clinical nurses in hospital emergency wards.
Mental health is on the Government’s agenda with the State Budget delivering a record $865.8 million in funding to the Mental Health Commission. This represents an 83.9 per cent increase to the sector since 2008-09.
The Government plans to construct a $7.1 million 10-bed Mental Health Observation Area at Joondalup Health Campus and an $8 million six-bed sub-acute mental health facility in Broome.
Perth Children’s Hospital will add 20 mental health beds in 2016-17, and a further six beds will be opened at Fiona Stanley Hospital for adolescents.
The Government is also progressing the development of new step-up step-down facilities in Karratha, Rockingham and Bunbury as part of our commitment to provide support and appropriate health services for people with mental illness in the regions.
Over the past eight years, the Government has increased expenditure on education, training and workforce development by over 40 per cent to $43 billion.
They will invest $284.3 million on education infrastructure over the forward estimates, with an increase of $81 million in recurrent spending on Education for Schools program.