REGIONAL HEALTH INFRASTRUCTURE FUND

MINISTER’S STATEMENT: REGIONAL HEALTH INFRASTRUCTURE FUND

Today I rise to update the house on the Andrews Labor government’s landmark Regional Health Infrastructure Fund, the largest fund of its kind in Victoria’s history. Earlier this month the Premier launched the latest round of the Regional Health Infrastructure Fund at the opening of the Ballarat and District Aboriginal Cooperative Medical and Regional Health Hub, which received $6 million from this fund. The Andrews Labor government has invested $350 million in the Regional Health Infrastructure Fund since it was established in 2016, including $100 million in this year’s state budget, so that Victorians living in regional Victoria can get access to the health care they need closer to home. This dwarfs the previous Liberal-National government’s Rural Capital Support Fund, which was a measly $56 million. Over the past three years the fund has supported 284 projects across regional Victoria, creating more than 430 construction jobs along the way. Just some of the projects funded include $2.3 million for Mildura Base Hospital for the expansion of the intensive care unit, $2.6 million for Swan Hill hospital to establish subacute services, $9.3 million for Warragul hospital for a new short-stay unit and new operating theatre, $9.9 million for Cobaw Community Health for a new health community access hub and $11 million for Warrnambool hospital for capital planning, a refurbished operating theatre complex and medical equipment. Health services can apply by 16 December for grants for construction and refurbishment projects, technology upgrades and state-of-the-art medical and engineering equipment. The Andrews Labor government knows how important local health services are to local communities. This is just one of the projects that we have funded as part of the Labor government’s massive $3.8 billion pipeline of hospital projects to ensure patients get the very best care when they need it most. Since coming into office, we have committed $7 billion in health infrastructure across Victoria, delivering the largest health build program in Victorian history.