Hospital deal provides 34,000 more beds
More than 100,000 professionals and 34,000 beds from private hospitals will be integrated into the public health system to battle COVID-19.
Federal Health minister Greg Hunt announced the "integrated partnership" between the commonwealth, states and private sector in a press conference this afternoon.
Mr Hunt said the deal would expand the capacity of Australia's health system.
"A partnership between the Australian Government, the states and the private hospitals that will bring over 30,000 beds within the hospital system into an integrated partnership between the commonwealth and the states and the private hospital sector," he said.
"It will bring over 105,000 full and part-time hospital staff, including 57,000 of our amazing nurses and midwives. It guarantees them their future and their support, both during the crisis and beyond, but most importantly it brings the resources to the fight against coronavirus, COVID-19, in Australia."
He said the deal was a "very significant stride" in increasing the system's capacity while guaranteeing the viability of all 657 private hospitals.
57,000 nurses and midwives will also be repurposed as part of the deal, to ensure medical staff at ICU units don't hit capacity.
Originally published as Hospital deal provides 34,000 more beds