The Andrews Government is delivering a $115 million boost to give Victoria’s busy hospitals relief from a massive surge in demand following one of Victoria’s worst-ever flu seasons.

Today, Member for Thomastown Bronwyn Halfpenny and Member for Yuroke Ros Spence announced that local health services will share in a special funding support package, with an additional $7.5 million for Northern Health.

This year’s flu season has resulted in sustained pressure on Victoria’s health system with more than 14,000 flu cases reported across Victoria so far.

Over winter there has been a surge in people visiting emergency departments. In August alone, more than 3,900 people visited emergency departments each day – the largest ever for August on record.

Hospitals right across the state have risen to the challenge, dedicating significant resources and staff to providing Victorians world class care this winter and flu season.

This funding package will support local hospitals to ensure a record number of patients can get the care they need from emergency departments faster, for the remainder of the year. Northern Hospital in Epping is one local hospital that will benefit from this boost.

Quicker hospital transfer times will also enable paramedics to get back on the road sooner and save more lives. People waiting for elective surgery will also benefit with more people than ever expected to receive surgery in 2017/18.

This boost is another part of the Government’s actions to manage the flu season and meet rising demand on the health system. While the peak is coming to an end, hospitals continue to urge patients with less severe illnesses to contact their GP, a pharmacist – including Victoria’s 24/7 Supercare Pharmacies – or NURSE-ON-CALL.

The extra $115 million boost comes on top the record $1.67 billion provided in the Victorian Budget 2017/18 to support hospitals to meet demand and provide high quality, safer care to patients, no matter where they live.