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Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Home-based care easing pressure on hospitals says Vic Premier

Close to 56,000 Victorians have reportedly taken up home-based care programs since the State Government’s Better at Home program was launched last year in a bid to ease pressure on the state’s health system.

Premier, Daniel Andrews and Minister for Health, Mary-Anne Thomas today visited St Vincent’s Hospital, which has one of the fastest growing home-based care programs in the state – recording a 95% increase in home-based care in the last year.

Better at Home allows Victorians to access experienced nurses, clinicians and allied health professionals at home.

The program also works to free up much-needed capacity across the state’s hospital network, with an extra 200 beds freed up across Victoria since the program started in July last year.

“Giving more Victorians access to world-class healthcare in the comfort of their own homes not only means a more comfortable experience for many patients, but it’s also helping take the pressure off our hardworking frontline nurses, paramedics and doctors,” said Premier Andrews.

“I know from my own experience just how helpful getting care at home can be – it makes treatment and recovery so much easier when you’re able to get personalised care brought directly to you, surrounded by your loved ones.”

He said that since the program began, regional health services have also delivered more than 71,000 days that would have been spent in hospital at home for almost 10,000 patients across 25 regional health services in Barwon, Gippsland, Loddon Mallee, Hume and the Grampians.

Earlier this year as part of the Victorian Budget 2022/23, the Victorian Government announced a further $698 million to expand Better at Home to help an additional 15,000 Victorians access home-based care each year.

“We’re investing heavily to help reduce pressure on the health system amid the ongoing effects of the pandemic, winter respiratory illnesses like the flu, two years of deferred care and many sick healthcare workers,” said Minister Thomas.

“St Vincent’s home-based care programs are great examples of how our health system is adapting to meet increasing demand for care outside the hospital, while also taking significant pressure off of our busy emergency departments,” she said.

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