Regional

$50m for Vic hospitals before flu season

By AAP Newswire

Victoria is gearing up for yet another horror flu season but Premier Daniel Andrews is assuring families the state's hospitals will be ready.

The state government has set aside $50 million to help manage the expected influx of patients with flu this winter.

Last year several people died when the state had one of the worst flu seasons on record with more than 48,000 cases.

"We're giving families peace of mind that if another horror flu season hits this winter our hospitals will be ready," Mr Andrews said on Sunday.

Seventeen of Victoria's largest health services will be given the money which has been set aside in the 2018/19 budget.

Another $3.5 million will provide free flu shots for children aged between six months and five years from next month.

"Young kids can be especially vulnerable to nasty colds and flu. It's why we've stepped in to make sure they'll be protected with free flu shots ahead of winter," Mr Andrews said.

Health Minister Jill Hennessy said doctors, nurses and paramedics did a remarkable job in the face of unprecedented demand last year.