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$1.3b package for Vic health system announced

Funding for 4000 new ICU beds in Victoria is included

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and Victorian Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos today announced a $1.3 billion package for the Victorian health system in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Of the $1.3 billion, Mikakos said $1.2 billion will go towards ordering equipment and resources needed to add an extra 4000 ICU beds to the 450 already in Victoria’s public and private health system. Another $65 million will go towards training for healthcare workers and capital works.

“This type of investment has never been made in Victoria before and shows the magnitude of what we are preparing to deal with,” she said.

While these beds will only be required in a worst-case scenario at the pandemic’s peak, these preparations are being made to ensure Victoria is able to avoid ending up in a situation similar to those in Italy or Spain.

Encouraging Victorians to continue following the rules outlined in the Stage 3 restrictions, Andrews said, “All Victorians have to play their part in helping to flatten the curve – everything we do now gives us vital time to prepare our health system for what is to come.”

In the press conference Premier Andrews also said at least eight people had been fined for breaking the Stage 3 restrictions. The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Victoria has risen to 968 while the national death toll is currently 20.

Photo: Victoria Parliament House Melbourne available HERE and used under a Creative Commons Attribution. This image has not been modified.

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