NSW Health receives $700m to bolster services

By Shannon Jenkins

Tuesday March 17, 2020

The official toll indicates that three times the annual number of car accident victims worldwide have perished from COVID-19.
The official toll indicates that three times the annual number of car accident victims worldwide have perished from COVID-19. (Jacob Lund/Adobe)

New South Wales’ health department will receive an extra $700 million under a $2.3 billion coronavirus stimulus package released by the state government.

It follows the Western Australian government’s announcement on Monday of a $607m package which would freeze household fees and charges.

NSW Health will use the funds to double the capacity of intensive care units, prepare for additional coronavirus testing, bring forward elective surgeries to private hospitals, and buy medical equipment, including ventilators.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the government would support the state’s “amazing” health workers through the crisis.

“This extra funding backs the work of our doctors, nurses, allied health staff, ambulance officers and support staff in the fight to prevent the spread of and prepare for COVID-19,” he said.

The government will allocate $1.6b in tax relief for small businesses, Premier Gladys Berejiklian said on Tuesday, with $450m to waive payroll tax for the next three months for businesses with payrolls of up to $10m.

There is also $80m for fees and charges to be waived for small businesses such as cafes, bars, and tradespeople.

More than $750m will go towards capital works and maintenance of public assets, while $250m will allow for public infrastructure, including schools, to employ more cleaners.

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