The Health and Hospitals Fund provides support to strategic capital investments in health infrastructure to equip Australia’s health and hospital system for the future.
The Health and Hospitals Fund (HHF) is used to support strategic capital investments in health infrastructure to equip Australia’s health and hospital system for the future, such as the renewal and refurbishment of hospitals, hospital facilities, medical technology equipment, and medical research facilities and projects. $475 million has been allocated for another Health and Hospitals Fund round targeting regional infrastructure development.
The Australian Government will provide a total of $56.3 M to fund four new agreements with the WA Government.
Kidney Dialysis Treatment
$45.8 million has been allocated to expand renal infrastructure and dialysis and support services. It will provide 17 additional renal dialysis chairs and 46 patient accommodation units for up to 92 patients meaning for the first time many patients with kidney disease will be able to receive dialysis in or near their communities.
Ten small and medium sized regional and remote hospitals across four regions of WA – Kimberley, Pilbara, Goldfields and Midwest – will be upgraded and expanded.
Two sites are located in the Goldfields region – Kalgoorlie and Esperance. Two sites are in the Midwest region – Geraldton and Carnarvon. The other six are at Fitzroy Crossing, Broome, Derby and Kununurra, in the Kimberley region; and Roebourne and Port Hedland, in the Pilbara region.
$6.98 million has been allocated to the redevelopment of pathology laboratories at Bunbury, Narrogin and Collie Hospitals.
Rebuilding the pathology laboratory at Bunbury will support the establishment of radiotherapy treatment for breast, prostate, colon and lung cancers, enhance intensive care services, and help ease the pressure on the hospital’s emergency department.
At Narrogin Hospital, the pathology laboratory will be relocated closer to the emergency department, and expanded to meet modern laboratory requirements.
Relocating and refurbishing the laboratory at Collie will mean improved services for patients undergoing pathology tests.
Access to pathology testing will be further improved across the state, with a $0.77 million point-of-care testing network to be set up at 70 rural and remote hospital sites.
$2.8 million has been allocated to build a public dental clinic at the Narrogin Regional Hospital providing four new dental chairs along with patient and staff amenities.
The Health and Hospitals Fund (HHF) can be used to construct a new building or to purchase or refurbish and/orextend an existing building. This includes:
- building activities required to design and construct/refurbish the project;
- direct building costs associated with building new or upgrading existing premises (such as building, plumbing and/or electrical costs);
- purchase of an existing property;
- information management and technology systems installation; and
- purchase of land.
This may also include some establishment costs for the purchase of health, diagnostic or research equipment necessary to furnish the project.
Health and Hospitals Funds (HHF) cannot be used for:
- ongoing operating costs including rent, utilities, salaries and building maintenance;
- professional health services (including services to which an MBS item relates);
- maintenance of medical equipment; and
- the purchase of consumables for medical equipment (other than a consumables pack that may be supplied with equipment on delivery).
Round One: Health and Hospitals Fund
As part of the 2009-10 Federal Budget, a $3.2 billion nation-building package of HHF projects covering three critical areas was announced. These included:
- $1.3 billion towards building a world class cancer care system;
- $1.5 billion towards building a hospital system for the future and to undertake other projects of national significance; and
- $430.3 million towards medical research and workforce infrastructure to improve the transfer of research outcomes into patient care.
Round Two: Regional Cancer Centres
As part of the $1.3 billion provided to build a world class cancer care system, $556 million was committed in the 2009-10 Budget to establish a network of best practice regional cancer centres and associated accommodation facilities.
The aim of the Regional Cancer Centres initiative is to help improve access and support for cancer patients in rural, regional and remote Australia, and to help close the gap in cancer outcomes between the city and the country.
The 21 regional cancer centre projects approved under HHF Round Two form the core of the Australia-wide network of 26 regional cancer centres and associated accommodation facilities – a network that is making a huge difference to cancer patients and their families across regional Australia.
The 26 regional cancer centre and associated accommodation projects include:
- 21 projects approved under HHF Round Two;
- 2 additional projects approved under HHF Round Three;
- 1 additional project approved under HHF Round Four; and
- 2 non-HHF projects: the Alan Walker Cancer Centre in Darwin, which opened in 2010, and the Springfield Cancer Care Centre in Ipswich, QLD.
Round Three: 2010 Regional Priority Round
On 30 September 2010, the Australian Government opened a third funding round under the HHF – the 2010 Regional Priority Round – with $1.8 billion available for health infrastructure projects to improve access to essential health services for Australians living in rural, regional and remote areas.
The aim of the funding round is to assist regional communities in the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) Remoteness Areas (RA) 2 to 5 by providing upgrades to regional health infrastructure, expansions to regional hospitals, and support for clinical training capacity in regional hospitals.
This resulted in $1.3 billion being allocated in the 2011-12 Budget for sixty-three projects that will help to close the gap in health outcomes between major metropolitan and regional areas of Australia.
Round Four: 2011 Regional Priority Round
As part of the $1.8 billion available for health infrastructure projects to improve access to essential health services for Australians living in rural, regional and remote areas, $475 million was announced in the 2011-12 Budget for a second HHF funding round targeting regional infrastructure development.
Following a competitive assessment process, 76 projects have been allocated funding through the 2012-13 Budget. These projects will help further close the gap in health outcomes between major metropolitan and regional areas of Australia by expanding and upgrading rural hospitals and health centres, expanding clinical training capacity to deliver more health professionals to regional areas, and delivering new and expanded health services including mental health, dental health and chronic disease management.
The funding will benefit a number of regions across Australia – from inner regional locations such as Wodonga, to remote and very remote areas including the Pilbara and Kimberley regions, the Pitjantjatjara Lands and Cape York.