The New South Wales Budget 2024-25 was announced this week, and the government continues to invest in NSW’s health system and digital health infrastructure.

Key commitments include:

  • $274.7 million for new hospitals to ensure health services are equipped to meet the needs of the population.
  • A new payroll tax relief initiative for GP clinics aiming to reduce the strain on emergency departments and citizens’ wallets.
  • $10.4 million which will be invested in digital health infrastructure, including NSW Health’s custom-built virtual care system and a new platform for real-time collection and use of patient-reported measures.
  • The development of a state-of-the-art biomedical research complex to accelerate innovation and tackle some of the most difficult and complex health challenges.

Building better hospitals

Essential Health Services Fund
New hospitals across NSW will receive 250 healthcare workers, including nurses and doctors as part of a $274.7 million Essential Health Services Fund. This funding will also support rising costs of providing healthcare services in hospitals and increasing activity in the health system.

Boosting bulk billing

Bulk-Billing Support Initiative
The $188.8 million Bulk-Billing Support Initiative will protect the cost of seeing a GP and reduce the strain on our emergency departments. The initiative will ease financial pressure on GP practices by waiving historical payroll tax liabilities for contractor GPs and provide an ongoing tax rebate to clinics that meet bulk-billing thresholds. This initiative aims to ease the cost of living pressures on families and households by ensuring clinics don’t pass on additional costs to patients.

Medical research

Sydney Biomedical Accelerator (SBA) as part of Tech Precinct
This is a co-funded partnership project between the Sydney Local Health District and the University of Sydney, comprising a state-of-the-art biomedical research complex spanning the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and the University campuses. The SBA presents a landmark vision and delivery plan to transform the state’s biomedical research capabilities and accelerate innovation to tackle some of the most difficult and complex health challenges. The total project is valued at $660 million, and $142 million is allocated over four years to 2027-28.

John Hunter Health and Innovation Precinct

The redevelopment of the John Hunter and John Hunter Children’s Hospitals will deliver a significant expansion of health services, providing additional capacity and purpose-built infrastructure, to enable implementation of contemporary models of care to the communities of the Hunter and New England. The total project is valued at $835 million, and $498.2 million is allocated over four years to 2027-28.


Digital Restart Fund
It dedicates $97.9 million capital expenditure over four years from the Digital Restart Fund to invest in strategic digital priorities, including $42.6 million capital expenditure for cyber security measures. The focus of this investment is towards delivering reusable digital infrastructure for the NSW public sector, mitigating critical risks, improving cyber security and transforming key legacy applications to provide more accessible, secure and responsive services to communities and citizens.

Health-related components (all previously announced)

  • Digital Restart Fund – Digital Access to Care (Announced 2022 – $1.4m in 2024-25)
    • The Simplified Appointments for patients and clinicians initiative was granted DRF seed funding to develop a statewide digital referral management solution to improve the referral experience for patients, clinicians and referrers in outpatient services.
    • The ICT Assurance Framework (IAF) Gate 2 compliant business case was developed to support the long-term, statewide implementation approach, now known as Digital Access to Care, to enable the program to roll out across NSW.
  • Digital Restart Fund – Patient Reported Measures (Announced 2022 – $6.4m in 2024-25)
    • Patient-reported measures (PRMs) are surveys that help us to understand what matters most to patients. They also help us to find out if the care we deliver supports the outcomes and experiences that patients expect.
    • NSW Health has developed a new platform – HOPE (Health Outcomes and Patient Experience) – to support real-time collection and use of PRMs.
  • Digital Restart Fund – Virtual Consultations (Announced in 2022 – $2.6m in 2024-25)
    • myVirtualCare is NSW Health’s custom-built, web-based videoconferencing platform that provides a secure virtual consultation room. It supports access to healthcare from anywhere in the state and mimics the physical workflow of a clinical consultation.

Development also continues on the new Single Digital Patient Record system which will improve care and access to timely treatment and patient information (Announced in 2020, $199.2 million allocated for 2024-25) and the Whole of System Digital Platform (eHealth announced in 2016, $16.2m allocated for 2024-25).

Innovation and business (Investment NSW)

Investment NSW

There was no mention of Investment NSW other than transferring it from Department of Creative Industries, Tourism, Hospitality and Sport to the Premier’s Department.

NSW Business Bureau

A key pillar of supporting businesses, a further $5 million has been allocated for the Service NSW Business Bureau bringing the total investment in 2024-25 to $30.0 million. The Service NSW Business Bureau will focus on delivering key programs and services for small businesses, including assisting small businesses to navigate regulations, access support to grow their business, access government contracts and overseas markets; and tackle unproductive red tape.

Read the full NSW State Budget 2024-25