Northern Hospital: academic and research precinct
My matter is for the attention of the Minister for Health. I raise my concern that the academic and research precinct proposed at the Northern Hospital will not proceed under his government. The Northern Hospital has one of the busiest emergency departments in our state and has an increasing number of admissions. It is a hospital in a growth corridor and will need to expand in the future. It needs to attract and retain more doctors and other health staff. The hospital has identified a way to attract more staff. It has proposed an academic and research precinct which would enable doctors, nurses and allied health staff to receive training on site, with a view to continuing their employment at that hospital.
I understand that both the University of Melbourne and La Trobe University have previously committed $7.2 million to this project, and Northern Health itself has committed $5 million. The federal government committed $14 million in its budget last year, but that funding was contingent on state government funding. Labor initially provided $3 million for this project and during the election committed a further $11 million to enable it to go ahead. However, to date the Baillieu government has not committed a cent to this important project.
I am aware that the minister is soon to visit the Northern Hospital to have discussions with management there. I am certain that this matter will be raised. I call on the minister to urgently commit funding to the academic and research precinct at the Northern Hospital to ensure that this important project proceeds.