Vic govt continues hospital cash splash

More than 85,000 extra patients will have access to medical treatment and an estimated 3000 jobs will be created under a proposed $1 billion Victorian government hospital plan.

Premier Daniel Andrews said upgrades to hospitals in Melbourne’s north, including Austin Hospital at Heidelberg and Northern Hospital at Epping, would give more people access to high-quality services amid the state’s healthcare crisis.

“Our healthcare workers go above and beyond to provide the very best care to Victorians and they deserve the very best modern infrastructure to match,” Mr Andrews said on Tuesday.

The proposal includes an expansion of emergency departments at both hospitals and extra beds at the Northern by 2028.

There are more than 109,000 presentations at the Northern’s emergency department each year, while the Austin has more than 88,000.

State health minister Mary-Anne Thomas said the upgrades were necessary to keep up with demand.

“The Austin and the Northern have two of the busiest emergency departments in Victoria and that demand will continue to grow as our northern suburbs do,” she said.

If Labor is re-elected in November, between $250 million and $300 million will be put towards supporting an extra 30,000 emergency patients at the Austin, with 29 extra emergency treatment spaces.

An estimated $770 million to $855 million will create up to 70 extra treatment spaces at the Northern in addition to a new tower with more than 100 beds for in-patients.

At least $8 billion has already been put towards improving Victoria’s embattled ambulance service.

Mr Andrews did not rule out raising taxes in order to pay for the hospital spend, adding the pledges would be consolidated into a funded plan to be presented to parliament.


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