$1.65 MILLION to upgrade the operating theatre and birthing suite has been secured for South Gippsland Hospital in Foster.
On behalf of the Board, patients and staff, South Gippsland Hospital CEO Chris Trotman said she was delighted the hospital’s submission to the latest round of the state government’s Regional Health Infrastructure Fund had been successful.
“The funding will enable a staged upgrade to provide a larger operating suite, recovery and consulting areas, reconfiguration of the birthing suite and sterilisation areas, reverse osmosis equipment, acoustic management and upgraded water and electrical systems,” Chris said.
“It’s important that rural and regional community members do not have to travel long distances or stay overnight away from family and friends for what are fairly routine operations or procedures.
“We provide a range of services around our day procedure lists and low risk birthing services to ensure rural patients in the Corner Inlet region have access to some of the same services offered in large metropolitan areas.
“The funding and subsequent upgrade will enable the hospital to continue to provide these services with an even higher level of care and patient safety, attract and retain skilled staff and has the potential to provide additional day procedures in the future.
“Although we do not have a timeline as yet for any works, future construction will be managed to minimise disruption of the day to day running of the hospital and patient lists and births. The hospital will keep the community updated as the project progresses.”
The Victorian Budget 2016/17 provided an extra $2.45 billion for health so hospitals can admit more patients, reduce waiting times, upgrade buildings and infrastructure, and keep Victorians healthy.
“We’re putting Victorian patients first and revamping our rural and regional health services so more patients in Gippsland can be treated sooner, closer to home,” said Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Harriet Shing.
“Our investment will secure the future of our local health service and make a real difference to the lives of patients who will get the safe, high quality care and treatment they need – particularly in the face of billions of dollars in cuts by the federal Coalition.”
The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien said it is a fantastic outcome for the local community, which has been fighting for a long time for this funding to upgrade the maternity and surgical areas of the hospital.
”I’ve been proud to support the hospital in its efforts to secure this funding and am pleased that it is now delivered and will help shore up the future of hospital services in the Corner Inlet region for many years to come,” he said.
The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath, said she had raised this issue in Parliament a number of times and only a few weeks ago called on the government to make a decision.
“Having been born in the Foster Hospital maternity unit I know the needs of our community and that this funding is very much deserved,” she said.
“This outcome shows what can be done when the local community works with local MPs to deliver better outcomes for our health services.
“I look forward to seeing construction begin as soon as possible on this important project.”