Skip navigation

More information on the COVID Health Levy on the Big Banks

How it would boost our public health system

An extra billion dollars each year would:

  • Boost our hospital system with an extra $750 million investment, creating an additional 500 beds, across ICU, emergency and inpatient wards
  • Enhance our state’s Hospital at Home options by delivering it publicly with an extra $280 million per year, ensuring Queenslanders with COVID-19 in a stable condition can isolate at home with the healthcare they need to get better. This will add the equivalent of at least 200 beds to the hospital system, as well $12 million of funding for any additional resources our health care workers need to deliver high quality telehealth services to low risk people with mild cases of COVID.

What is Hospital in the Home?

In Victoria, patients with COVID who are at low or medium risk and are in a stable condition are able to remain in their homes to receive regular telehealth check-ins and care from health professionals. 

In-home COVID care can range from regular telehealth check-ins from a doctor or other healthcare professional, to twice daily monitoring of oxygen levels and a range of other symptoms by doctors. Patients who become very unwell or at a high risk can be taken to the hospital in an Ambulance. 

Why Hospital in the Home instead of a bigger expansion of our hospitals?

Once our borders open up in December, COVID-19 cases are predicted to be around 400 per day in Queensland, with 1,200 a day projected as the worst case scenario. To provide quality health care to this high volume of cases, Queensland will need to both rapidly expand our hospitals and substantially ramp up our Hospital in the Home services. 

The Queensland Government already committed $15 million to permanently expand Hospital in the Home services, which were temporarily established as part of the COVID-19 response. Our $280 million investment will allow Queensland Health to rapidly expand our Hospital in the Home services, ready for the coming COVID surge. 

What will the additional $280 million for Hospital in the Home fund?

The Victorian Government currently spends around $268 million a year to provide 203 Hospital in the Home beds. It’s anticipated that $268 million would roughly deliver the same amount of beds here in Queensland – an extra 200 beds. The remaining $12 million would be invested in strengthening connections between Queensland Health, the Primary Health Networks and GPs, and equipping them with any additional resources they need to deliver high quality telehealth services to low risk people with mild cases of COVID.

What about the 500 hospital beds, where will they go?

An extra $750 million investment will create an additional 500 beds, across ICU, emergency and inpatient wards. These beds will be distributed across Queensland’s public hospitals, dependent on need, workforce availability and available space within the hospital. 

What about additional nurses and doctors?

Each bed is costed at an average $1.5 million a year. The cost of a hospital bed in Queensland’s public hospitals can range from $500,000 to $2 million. This figure includes the additional staffing requirement for each bed over the year, the equipment needed, the ongoing servicing costs of the equipment and any other costs associated with an additional hospital bed. Given Queensland Health’s current nurse-to-patient ratios 500 additional beds across ICU, emergency and inpatient wards could employ an additional 200-300 nurses.


How much will the COVID Health Levy on the Big Banks raise?

The bank levy will raise $4.3 billion. That’s $4.3 billion we take from the inflated profit margins of dodgy, greedy banks to invest in our public health system. 







Total Bank Liabilities






Qld Share of Liabilities






Qld Bank Levy Revenue







How much will each bank pay?

The below estimate is based on the proportions of liabilities held by each of the five banks, according to figures from Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA). As an example, the $302 million the Commonwealth Bank would pay in 2020/21, leaving them still with $8.35 billion in profit.


Proportion of Liabilities*









































* Derived from APRA Sept 2021 figures




Haven’t the banks been hit hard by the pandemic?

Bolstered by $188 billion in ultra-cheap loans from the Reserve Bank and the unprecedented housing boom – the big banks are as profitable as ever. These ultra-cheap loans from the RBA have been estimated to equate to a $1.5 billion hand-out over the next 3 years.

Across the big four banks, half-year cash profits soared by an average 62% – with the Commonwealth Bank reporting a profit of whopping $8 billion in the last financial year. They can absolutely afford to chip in a bit more.