The public health response

As coronavirus (COVID-19) began to spread swiftly around the world, we knew we had to act – fast.

Nurse with patient in hospital

It's why in March we began to ready our healthcare system: commissioning new beds, new builds, additional staff and innovative technology to deal with the potential incoming demand.

Building on these measures, this Budget commits $9 billion to support our health system.

Sitting beneath that number was an incredible effort to reinforce and support our State’s healthcare system during this cruel and contagious virus.

Since then the Government built an extensive network of more than 200 testing sites across Victoria.

More than 3 million tests have been completed across the state, evolving and adapting as needs and priorities have emerged.

We established six metropolitan Melbourne and six regional Local Public Health Units. These Local Public Health Units strengthened the public health response to coronavirus (COVID-19) and supported engagement with the community, enabled better integration of care and public health functions, and improved the ability to rapidly respond to new cases and outbreaks.

An early investment of $1.3 billion helped to create capacity for over 1,500 intensive care units and critical care spaces.

The Government further readied our State, ordering thousands of ventilators, dialysis machines and patient monitors – and innovative models of care including telehealth and hospital in the home were rapidly expanded to keep patients and healthcare workers safe.

Over $980 million was invested to purchase personal protective equipment and medical supplies.

This precious purchase, delivered through a centralised distribution model, managed an order of 602 million gloves, 245 million masks and 25 million gowns.

All of it – every dollar invested, every ounce of effort – dedicated to protecting our State from this virus.

Because we understand, there is no economic recovery without a strong health response first.

Reviewed 20 November 2020

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