Northern Health has received a $7.5 million funding boost to help it cope with one of the worst flu seasons on record.

The money is part of $115 million in state government funding to help ease the pressure on hospitals.

Health Minister Jill Hennessy said this year’s flu season had caused a surge in people visiting emergency departments, with more than 14,000 flu cases reported across the state.

In Whittlesea, there has been a 72 per cent increase in flu cases this year compared to
last year.

According to health department data, 415 Whittlesea residents had been diagnosed with the flu as of October 3, compared to 241 at the same time last year.

In Hume, there have been 476 confirmed flu cases, up from 350 at the same time in 2016.

Ms Hennessy said the funding would
support hospitals to ensure a record number of patients can get the care they need from emergency departments faster, for the remainder of the year.

“This flu season has hit us hard. Every single one of our public hospitals has been working overtime so Victorians can continue to have access to the care they need – when they need it,” she said.

“Our dedicated doctors, nurses, paramedics and other healthcare workers have done a remarkable job, in the face of unprecedented demand, ensuring patients are receiving the first class care they deserve.”

Yuroke MP Ros Spence said she had experienced first-hand how hard staff at the Northern Hospital were working during the flu season.

“I know that this funding boost is so important and will ensure that the resources are available to provide our families with the health care they need,” she said.