Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: Wisconsin exporters with expertise in upgrading and implementing workforce training and upskilling, equipment, technology, facilities and infrastructure for hospitals and supporting services could capitalize on increased spending for Australia’s health care system.
Australia is making health care one of its top priorities, pumping money into all aspects of the industry.
The government’s Long Term National Health Plan is getting a record $132 billion AUD ($89.6 billion USD) infusion in the 2022-23 health budget to add staff, build new facilities and expand services to residents.
Funding will increase to $140 billion AUD ($97.6 billion USD) in 2025-26, with a total commitment of $537 billion AUD ($365.5 billion USD) over the next four years.
The effort comes after the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted inadequacies in Australia’s health care system. Even now, residents face long waits for surgical procedures due to large backlogs in essential surgery at both public and private hospitals. The system is hampered by a lack of staff, with an estimated shortfall of 5,500 nurses in the private sector alone.
Michael Roff, CEO of the Australian Private Hospitals Association, says the shortage of qualified health care professionals is the single biggest challenge facing health care in Australia.
To address the problem, the government is pledging investments that include:
- $4.2 billion AUD ($2.85 billion USD) to continue responding to COVID-19 with vaccines and treatments
- $375.6 million AUD ($187.8 million USD) over four years to establish a Western Australian Comprehensive Cancer Care Centre
- $72 million AUD ($49 million USD) over four years to continue modernizing the health care system with new technologies and new methods to provide care
The state governments of New South Wales and Victoria are also promising a series of health care investments, such as:
- Recruiting more than 10,000 staff members for positions in hospitals and health services across New South Wales
- Opening 30 new ambulance stations in New South Wales during 2023-26 and recruiting more than 2,000 health care employees to staff them
- Building a $900 million AUD ($613 million USD) hospital in western Melbourne
- Allocating $743.4 million AUD ($506.5 million USD) over five years to enhance palliative care services
Wisconsin exporters with products and services used for training and upskilling health care workforces and improving operational efficiency for health care delivery may find opportunities in Australia. Also, Wisconsin exporters that can provide upgraded equipment, facilities and infrastructure for hospitals and supporting services could find market interest there, as a result of the government’s spending initiatives.
Wisconsin businesses interested in these opportunities are encouraged to routinely check the government websites—AusTender, HealthShareNSW and HealthShareVictoria—and reach out to WEDC for an initial discussion on how its team can assist.