Investment in our Health and Mental Health System

    • Since coming to office, the McGowan Government has increased WA Health’s annual budget significantly, up 33.4 per cent from $8.8 billion in 2016-17 to $11.8 billion in 2023-24.
    • The Mental Health Commission’s annual budget increased by a massive 57.3 per cent, from $863 million in 2016-17 to $1.4 billion in 2023-24.
    • Western Australia has the highest per capita spending of any State on our hospitals, 18 per cent above the national average.
    • In the past two years, 547 new beds have been added to the system – the equivalent of a new tertiary hospital.
    • $3 billion will be spent over 2022-23 to 2026-27 on health infrastructure, adding a further 600 plus beds.
    • In the past three years, Health’s workforce has increased by 22 per cent including an additional 1,784 nursing and 779 medical FTE.

Health and our Hospitals

The McGowan Government is continuing to make significant investments to strengthen and improve our health and mental health system to meet the needs of all Western Australians.

In this Budget, an additional $2.7 billion is being invested bringing our total new investment since 2021 to an unprecedented $10 billion.

At a glance:

  • $841 million is committed for hospital services, as well as $78 million for costs related to WA Health’s response to COVID-19.
  • $75 million to address emergency department pressures and ambulance ramping, increasing the total spend to $452.7 million committed in this term of government.
  • $28.5 million for workforce attraction and retention including paying up to $12,000 of HECS-HELP loans for 350 newly qualified nurses and midwives commencing employment in regional WA, with priority given to hard to staff sites, plus funding for wrap-around support for up to 1,200 graduates in our hospitals.
  • $544 million over the next four years to commence construction of the new Women and Babies Hospital – a modern, leading edge maternity hospital right next to the State’s largest tertiary hospital. The $1.8 billion project is fully funded using the State’s surplus.
  • $150 million for the Bentley Health Service Surgicentre, co‑funded with the Commonwealth, including six new surgical theatres, two procedure rooms and a 24‑bed surgical ward.
  • $99.4 million to complete Stage 1 of the electronic medical records roll out to modernise and future-proof our hospitals across WA.
  • $58 million for ICT projects to improve access to specialist outpatient services through implementation of the Smart Referrals electronic referral management system, as well as enhanced cyber security protection.

Mental Health

This Budget includes a $420 million increase to mental health spending. The Mental Health Commission’s annual operating budget has increased to $1.4 billion in 2023-24, up from $863 million in 2016-17.

The new investment includes $201 million to expand mental health services and $219 million for the expansion of Graylands Hospital.

At a glance:

  • $82.6 million in additional spending has been committed for mental health hospital services.
  • $35.5 million to improve mental health outcomes for children and adolescents, and expand the Government’s response to the Infant, Child and Adolescent Taskforce report. This includes a new Infant, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Hub pilot in Bunbury, an Acute Care Response Team pilot in the east metropolitan area, the recruitment of Aboriginal Mental Health workers to provide culturally appropriate care, and upgrading the mental health inpatient ward at Perth Children’s Hospital.
  • $24.4 million to continue funding for the WACHS Mental Health Emergency Telehealth service.
  • $219 million is set aside for Stage 1 of the Graylands Hospital expansion, with 53 new forensic beds to be added. After three decades of no increases to forensic mental health bed capacity, this investment will ensure better access to secure inpatient mental health care for individuals with mental illness.

Page reviewed 11 May 2023