Vic hospital at home program expanded

Benita Kolovos
·1-min read

The Victorian government will spend $120.9 million to give more patients the opportunity to recover from illness or surgery in the comfort of home.

Health Minister Martin Foley on Saturday announced the November 24 state budget will fund an expansion of the Better at Home initiative over the next three years.

About $102.6 million will go towards providing a range of different types of care at home, including clinic appointments, chemotherapy, post-surgical care and rehabilitation.

Some $12.5 million will be spent on expanding telehealth and developing "innovative new models of 21st-century care", while a remaining $5.8 million will go to training health workers.

It's expected the initiative will deliver up to 50,000 chemotherapy appointments or 50,000 days of rehabilitation from home - freeing up about 160 hospital beds.

Mr Foley said evidence shows patients achieve better outcomes at home, where they avoid physical deterioration, sleep disruption and the social isolation associated with hospital stays.

"The coronavirus pandemic has been extremely hard on Victorians but we've also seen it inspire some innovative, more effective ways of caring for people - we want to ensure these programs remain available to Victorians," he said in a statement.

"Expanding the Better at Home program will mean many patients, particularly in regional Victoria will have better outcomes because they can recover or do their rehab in the comfort and familiar surroundings of their own home."