Mental Health Care The Focus For Labor In SA's State Budget
"Delivering on our promise"
A significant boost for mental health care in South Australia will be a key pillar of Thursday's State Budget.
Treasurer Stephen Mullighan will hand down his first budget following Labor's March election win, forecasting a budget surplus for the next financial year.
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Expected to be in the black by $233 million, Mr Mullighan told reporters the budget will remain in surplus across the forward estimates.
"The budget I will hand down today delivers on the government's substantial agenda, while also maintaining our commitment to fiscal discipline," he said.
"We are not reaching into the pockets of South Australians through shock tax hikes.
"We are delivering on our promise. Budget surpluses and no new taxes and no shock tax hikes," Mr Mullighan said.
Included in Labor's 2022/23 budget will be a $293 million pledge to provide 100 additional hospital beds, more health experts for schools and investment in vital services over the next four years.
The Queen Elizabeth, Modbury and Noarlunga hospitals are each set to get 24 new rooms, under the new plan, while an extra 12 will be built at Mt Barker; 10 more have been allocated to the Women’s and Children’s; six more in Mt Gambier and 20 have been set aside for home care.
Other notable outlays include 100 new mental health and learning support specialists across the state’s 500 public schools, at a cost of $50m.
With 20 or more child specialists, like psychologists and highly trained nurses, to be hired over the next four years, costing near $11m.
The cash splash on the state's struggling health system hopes to relieve some of the pressure on hospital staff and emergency departments.
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