Health Funding

Minister’s statement 

Ms MIKAKOS (Northern Metropolitan—Minister for Health, Minister for Ambulance Services) (12:40): I rise to inform the house on how the 2019–20 Victorian budget is ensuring that Victorians have access to world-class health care in world-class facilities regardless of where they live. This year’s budget gets the ball rolling on an unprecedented $3.8 billion pipeline of health infrastructure projects, the centrepiece being the new Footscray Hospital. The $1.5 billion 504-bed hospital will cut waiting times and allow 15 000 additional patients to be treated and almost 20 000 additional people to be seen by an emergency department each year. The budget also includes $31.4 million for the expansion of the iconic Royal Children’s Hospital to treat our littlest Victorians. We are also getting planning underway for the $562 million Frankston Hospital redevelopment, our commitment for 10 community hospitals and five dedicated paediatric emergency departments at the Northern, Casey, Maroondah, Frankston and Geelong University hospitals.

Access to world-class hospitals should not just be limited to Melbourne, and I am proud that our budget is also delivering for regional Victorians. On Monday I was proud to visit Bendigo Hospital and meet with staff and patients to announce nearly $60 million for a new day rehabilitation centre at Bendigo Health, bringing together a range of rehabilitation services such as physio, speech pathology and a new hydrotherapy pool in a new facility. We have also provided a further $100 million boost to the Regional Health Infrastructure Fund to help build world-class hospitals in rural and regional Victoria. In addition, our budget starts the important planning work for stage 3 of the Latrobe Regional Hospital, and funds are at the ready for the $100 million Maryborough Hospital redevelopment and the $100 million Geelong women’s and children’s hospital once they are shovel-ready.

Our budget builds on the $3.2 billion worth of health infrastructure investment made in our first term, double the previous coalition government’s investment during their four years, and in fact our capital spend this year alone is more than the coalition funded in the whole of their last term.