Major boost for Stawell Hospital
Stawell Regional Health will use a $2.2-million funding boost to upgrade cooling and heating systems at Stawell Hospital.
Premier Daniel Andrews and Health Minister Jill Hennessy travelled to Stawell for the announcement.
Mr Andrews said the government was providing the money to help the health service replace outdated chillers and hot-water systems throughout the hospital and fitting acute wards with new air-handling systems.
He said the updated hospital infrastructure would mean Stawell Regional Health could schedule more surgeries and reduce cancellations – and improve working conditions for hospital staff.
“We’re taking action to fit Stawell Regional Health with the latest, cutting-edge infrastructure that will allow hard-working hospital staff to treat more patients sooner, and closer to their homes,” he said.
The government is providing the money through its $200-million Regional Health and Infrastructure Fund, which it promotes as the largest fund of its kind in Victorian history.
Mr Andrews used the funding announcement to criticise the Federal Government approach to regional health services.
“Under the Turnbull Government’s National Health Reform Agreement 2020-21 to 2024-25, the Liberals are still refusing to pay their fair share, capping their contribution at 6.5 percent growth, which won’t meet demand in our hospitals, and they’re refusing to increase the Commonwealth contribution rate to 50 percent,” he said.
“At Stawell, this will hit patients and local families hard. The agreement they have put on the table would mean a $3.3-million shortfall for Stawell Regional Health – that’s the equivalent of 11 fewer doctors, 26 fewer nurses or 528 fewer surgeries.
“This is on top of the $104-million that Victoria is already owed by the federal Liberal government – which Malcolm Turnbull still refuses to pay – despite independent advice confirming Victoria is entitled to the funding.”