Home | Industry & Reform | Keneally promises $4 billion for health

Keneally promises $4 billion for health

Labor's health policy is unveiled.

NSW Premier Kristina Keneally has pledged $2.3 billion in new funding for upgraded health facilities and new medical staff, including $24 million to upgrade the emergency department at the Children's Hospital at Westmead.

Keneally unveiled Labor's health policy for the election, "Right care, right place, right time", during a visit to the hospital in Sydney's west today, on day four of her bus tour of marginal seats.

The policy - which promises $4 billion in funding over four years, including $2.3 billion in new money - contains a mixture of already announced measures and new pledges such as the $24 million for the children's hospital.

Also announced as part of the four-year funding package were $7.2 million for Wyong Hospital, $29 million for Tamworth Hospital, and $10 million for Armidale Hospital.

Just over $11 million would go to train 160 new interns, while $15 million would be spent employing 45 extra paramedics.

That comes on top of 2200 new nurses' positions funded as part of an award agreement reached last month and through the national health reforms.

Already announced during the campaign, but included in the $4 billion package are the $245 million for the redevelopment of Blacktown and Mount Druitt Hospital, and the $194 million for the upgrade of Campbelltown Hospital.

Keneally said the policy laid out Labor's "vision for the future" when it came to health investment.

"This is about strengthening our health system to deal with challenges of an ageing population, growing levels of chronic disease and rising health costs," she said.

The $2.3 billion in new funding would come from the government's existing commitment to grow the health budget by 5.8 per cent annually, she said.

Today the government also announced that recruiting had begun for the 1,400 new nurse positions promised under the award agreement reached in February.

"We are determined to boost staffing levels across NSW so nurses can better meet the growing health needs of local communities, and that's why we have moved fast to begin advertising these new positions," Keneally said.

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