Jun 21, 2022

Breaking: NSW budget announced – aged care workers miss out again

NSW budget announced

Aged care workers have missed out yet again following today’s NSW budget announcement by Treasurer Matt Kean, although palliative care did receive a significant boost and there will be funding for improved ambulance services.

As reported previously, the $3,000 ‘thank you’ bonus for frontline healthcare workers won’t land in the pockets of aged care staff.

Details of the funding increase for palliative care and the healthcare bonus had been announced earlier this month.

In good news, the NSW government has committed $743 million over five years to palliative care. 

The funding will go to increasing the number of palliative care beds, improving access to palliative care treatment and employing 600 nurses, allied health professionals, doctors and support staff to bolster palliative care services in the state. 

More than $90 million will be dedicated to building new dedicated palliative care units at Westmead and Nepean hospitals. 

NSW premier Dominic Perrottet said the boost was the most important commitment in this year’s budget.

Earlier this month, the NSW premier announced frontline health workers will receive a one-off $3,000 ‘thank-you’ payment for their work during the COVID-19 pandemic. The payment will not go to aged care workers, who are mainly employed in the private sector.

The bonus is part of a $4.5 billion funding package for the health sector, which also includes plans to hire an extra 10,000 staff, including 1,048 doctors, 3,517 nurses and up to 200 midwives.

The package also includes $1.8 billion to enable NSW Ambulance to recruit 2,128 staff and open 30 new ambulance stations.

Also announced in the NSW budget today, the public sector wage cap has been lifted to 3% this year, with a further 0.5% increase next year, taking it to 3.5%.

Treasurer Matt Kean said the increase is “generous” but unions have criticised the rise as a wage cut in real terms because it is lower than inflation.

Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe said this week that he expects inflation to reach 7% by the end of the year.

The NSW government has also set $883 million aside over the next four years to attract and retain health workers in regional areas, and more than $400 million to fast-track elective surgeries delayed during the pandemic.

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  1. Why would aged care workers expect anything from a state government budget?

    Aged care is funded by the Commonwealth and they have already paid several COVID related extra payments.

    Not saying they don’t deserve every cent but aged care staff would never be considered front line healthcare workers by the state because the state does not fund aged care.

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