The Queensland Ambulance Service spend has been increased by 6.3 per cent to $673.1 million in this years’ State Budget, with the provision for recruitment of an extra 110 ambulance officers and the commissioning of 170 new and replacement ambulances.
Health Minister Cameron Dick said the QAS budget also includes nearly $16 million to progress work on new and replacement ambulance stations all around the state.
The budget also allocates $9.6 million over the next three years to help hospital and health services build their capacity to prevent suicide.
Mr Dick said the $9.6 million Suicide Prevention in Health Services Initiative would comprise three major components:
- The establishment and operation over three years of a Queensland Suicide Prevention Health Taskforce as a partnership between the Department of Health, Hospital and Health Services and Primary Health Networks.
- Analysis of events relating to deaths by suspected suicide of people that had a recent contact with a health service to inform future actions and improvements in responses.
- Continue implementing training for hospital emergency department staff and other frontline acute mental health care staff in recognising, responding to and providing care to people presenting to hospital and health services with suicide risk.
“Shortly after I became Health Minister, I met Kerrie Keepa, who after suffering tragedy in her life, was seeking to make meaningful change with better suicide prevention training for staff in our Emergency Departments.”
“This new program is the next step, building the capacity of the health system to prevent and learn from suicide incidents wherever possible.” The Minister said.
The overall increase in the health budget to $15.274 billion includes an increase in the State Government’s operational allocation to health of 4.3 per cent.