SAFEGUARDING OUR HEALTH

SAFEGUARDING OUR HEALTH  Main Image

Our plan will safeguard your health – and your job – by keeping Queensland pandemic ready

 

The government responded quickly to the early impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. We committed $1.2 billion to the health sector to expand fever clinics, emergency department capacity, acute care services and regional aeromedical services for remote communities. We built strong contact tracing and testing capability to underpin our immediate and ongoing response to the pandemic and mobilised resources from across the public sector to back our health effort. As the pandemic impacts continued to unfold, the Queensland Government worked with local manufacturers to address gaps in the supply chain, encouraging Queensland firms able to support our health response by pivoting to produce essential personal protective equipment (PPE).

Pandemic Ready

This pandemic has shown that our long-term economic success will depend on our ability to protect the health and wellbeing of Queenslanders. We will ensure Queensland is ready for any future outbreaks by further investing in our capacity to respond.

This means continuing to invest in preparedness planning and building our critical supply reserve of medicines and medical devices for future public health emergencies or natural disasters.

It also means developing our own capacity to fight the virus by harnessing Queensland medical research and producing more PPE and medical equipment locally. 

Building Community Resilience

Supporting the health, wellbeing and resilience of Queenslanders is a key priority of this government.

Demands for social services support  have increased as a result of the pandemic. We recognise the impact the current situation has had on the wellbeing of individuals, families and communities.

Working in partnership with the community services sector, we will build on a range of existing programs to improve public health and help those in our communities who need support.

Investing in community infrastructure and critical services will lead to new opportunities and improved social and economic inclusion for many Queenslanders. We are already mandating planning requirements to support healthy and active Queensland communities, ensuring walkable residential neighbourhoods and access to local  parks and open spaces. 

Supporting Queenslanders' Mental Health

The pandemic has taken a toll on many Queenslanders and supporting mental health is a key part of the recovery process.

We know that we need to do more to support Queenslanders experiencing mental illness and mental health challenges due to the impacts of COVID-19.

To truly respond to mental health challenges requires a localised, community-led approach.

That is why, as a key part of our plan, the Government has announced $46.5 million for localised mental health community treatment and support services.

These local responses are designed to be flexible and will be stood up rapidly to meet the needs of individuals, families and communities.

This initiative will help to reduce the strain on our emergency departments and provide additional support across the state for those Queenslanders doing it tough.

It will also build on existing partnerships between the public, private and non-government sectors to help respond quickly and effectively to people in need.

Strong Health System

Over the past three years, the Queensland Government has delivered record health budgets to enhance health services, facilities and health promotion programs to keep Queenslanders of all ages healthy and active.

With planned expenditure of over

$3 billion from 2020-21 to 2023-24, Queenslanders across the state will see expansions and upgrades to their local health infrastructure.

COVID-19 has strengthened the collaboration and cooperation between the primary care and hospital sectors. We will leverage our success in managing the pandemic to grow job opportunities, improve liveability, attract investment and maintain our local capacity to meet healthcare needs, including emerging mental health issues.

The Queensland Government has taken key actions as part of the Queensland Health COVID-19 Response Plan, including:

  • expanding fever clinics, contact tracing, intensive care and emergency department capacity, and acute care services for remote communities
  • fast-tracking the development of a COVID-19 vaccine by supporting University of Queensland researchers
  • providing grants to 130 communitybased health service groups – including community mental health groups – to ensure vital services can continue
  • providing over $21 million to combat the spread of COVID-19 amongst First Nations Queenslanders.

We also delivered a range of initiatives to ensure continued distribution of essential supplies, such as PPE and food and grocery products.

Critical to this work was the establishment of the Essential Goods Supply Committee in March 2020. The committee brought together a wide range of industry and government stakeholders to share important information, address supply blockages caused by unprecedented consumer demand for staple food and grocery products, and enable manufacturers and suppliers to connect directly to address emerging challenges.

This included changes to operating hours of loading docks and distribution centres to keep our supermarket shelves stocked and temporary use licences that have allowed a brewer to pivot to the production of hand sanitiser. Necessary changes to the planning framework were made in March 2020 to support business transition and innovation and ensure access to critical supplies.

"During the current unprecedented health crisis, the constructive working relationship between AMA Queensland and the Queensland Government has enabled us to bring forth issues and collaboratively develop practical solutions quickly - in the best interests of our frontline health workers and the public." 

Jane Schmitt

CEO, Australian Medical Association Queensland