The ACT Government will spend $14.8 million over the next two years to slash the territory's elective surgery waiting list while launching additional mental health services.
Close to one-third of territory government's 2015-16 budget spending was allocated to health - $161 million over four years – with new beds to be created at both Canberra and Calvary Hospital.
Funding for a 400 space car park at the University of Canberra Public Hospital - expected to launch in early 2018 – was also announced after concerns from a key nursing union.
ACT Chief Minister and Treasurer Andrew Barr said health expenditure had become the fastest growing area of the ACT Government expenditure after commonwealth cuts.
The number of elective surgeries and elective endoscopy procedures in ACT hospitals is expected to increase by 500 respectively in the coming year, easing the burden on a growing on waiting list.
But the government estimated the number of elective surgeries to drop to 12,500 a year from 2017-18, unless the commonwealth government extended funding.
ACT Health Minister Simon Corbell said the budget signalled a record spend on health for the territory government and would create an additional 148 full-time jobs.
Emergency departments at the Canberra and Calvary hospital will be strengthened by funding for three existing specialist physician positions, costing $1.3 million in 2015-16 or $5.6 million over four years.
Mental health was another key focus of the 2015-16 budget with more than $16 million to be spent on improving community services next year.
This will include a new adult community health centre in Gungahlin, a new self harm diversion services, and an expansion of the primary care team at the Alexander Maconochie Centre.
Almost $200,000 will be spent on creating a new early intervention program for children with mental health conditions, costing $1 million over four years.
Alcohol, drug and mental health consultation service at Canberra Hospital will also be extended to seven days a week costing $433,000 in 2015-16, or $2.2 million over four years.
The 2015-16 Budget also includes provisions for 12 additional beds at the Canberra Hospital and four beds at the Calvary Hospital, costing a total of $3.9 million next year.
Funding for these additional beds will continue for the next four years costing a total of $23 million. Two additional intensive care beds will be established at the Canberra Hospital to meet growing demand, costing $1.4 million in 2015-16, or $10.2 million.
An additional neonatal bed will also be provided costing $504,000 in 2015-16, continuing to cost $3.6 million over four years.
The Queen Elizabeth II Family Centre will also receive $676,000 in 2015-16 for an additional six beds, which will provide services for women with non-acute but long-term needs after childbirth.
Mr Barr said more than $900 million had been invested in the Health Infrastructure Program since 2009, with the 2015-6 signalling the territory's largest spend on health.
"The health infrastructure program includes the Canberra Hospital emergency department upgrade, the secure mental health unit, the Ngunnawal Bush Healing Farm, and other upgrades at Canberra Hospital," he said.