MR PALLAS (Werribee—Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Industrial Relations) (14:23):

Since coming to office the Andrews Labor government has invested more than $158 billion in our healthcare system and the workers that look after us. The previous LNP government’s spending on health was effectively $37 billion, which is less than a quarter of the Andrews Labor government’s investment in the health of Victorians.

We know that this pandemic has had a dramatic impact on our health system like never before. It has also resulted in disrupted care. It has resulted in longer recovery times and people delaying seeing their GP. All of this puts huge demand on our hospital and our healthcare workers. That is why this government has made a historic investment of a massive $12 billion shot in the arm of our pandemic relief repair plan as part of the recent 2022–23 budget. Whether it is our $1.5 billion COVID catch-up plan, a record investment in surgical capacity or indeed the investments that we have made in ensuring that our capital infrastructure—$2.9 billion—serves the needs of the community, including more than $900 million for a new tertiary hospital in Melton, Victorians can trust this government to ease the pressure on our hospitals and healthcare workers by putting patients first.

Patrick McGorry of Orygen, the national youth mental health centre, praised the budget for building on last year’s investments, saying that it is world standard and puts to shame the efforts of the other states and what has been done nationally. Victoria’s peak doctor group has given the Victorian budget an A rating, and of course the nurses federation called our $698 million package to expand the Better at Home program ‘a smart and efficient way to improve patient flow in our hospitals’.