Victorian spike in Covid-19 hospitalizations, government’s $162 million plan

The state government has announced a plan to address the health crisis after Covid hospitalizations soared 99 percent amid a new surge.

The Victorian government has unveiled a plan to deal with the health crisis after it emerged that the number of people in hospital with Covid-19 had increased by 99 percent in a matter of weeks.

The same period also saw a 60 percent increase in Covid intensive care unit admissions and a nearly 50 percent increase in employee layoffs.

Infections are expected to rise even further as simulations suggest the surge will peak in mid-August.

These issues have put pressure on hospitals already struggling with bed availability, while numerous ambulance red codes have been announced this year due to Covid and flu-related staffing shortages.

This led the state government on Sunday to announce a $162 million package that will place 400 additional professionals at 12 major hospitals across Victoria.

These new workers will consist of unloading nurses, triage doctors and discharge coordinators to support a healthcare system that had over 10,000 employees absent in the first week of July alone.

Prime Minister Daniel Andrews said the program, based on the system used in Leeds in the UK, was designed to offload, evaluate and treat patients more efficiently and quickly.

“These investments are part of our plan to support our healthcare workers and provide Victorians with the care they need,” he said.

“Giving our nurses and doctors an extra pair of hands and making improvements to help patients move through our emergency rooms faster will ensure Victorians get the care they need faster as Australia weathers a difficult winter.”

It comes after South Melbourne’s Alberta Hospital announced on Thursday that it would be postponing some elective surgeries and procedures due to rising Covid cases and hospitalizations.

Alfred will be one of 12 hospitals to receive additional specialist staff.

Other measures included in the package were two new children-only pediatric general respiratory clinics at the Royal Children’s Hospital and Monash Children’s Hospital, as well as a trial between Victorian Ambulance and select public and private hospitals where private hospital emergency departments will support everyone. patients.

The third phase of the Victorian Healthcare Winter Response has also been launched, opening up additional measures such as leveraging private hospital capacity to support government patients and transitioning more hospitals to Tier 1 streaming services.

Health and Emergency Minister Mary Ann Thomas said the changes are meant to help the state’s hardworking medical staff.

“All of our healthcare professionals are doing an incredible job in a challenging environment and this package is designed to give them the support they need to help Victorians get the care they deserve faster,” she said.

Victoria recorded 9,630 new Covid cases and 16 deaths on Sunday, while 760 people are in state hospitals with the virus and 37 patients are in intensive care.

Originally published as Covid-19 hospitalizations in Victoria up 99% in less than a month