Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region Melina Bath has called on the Minister for Health to visit Wonthaggi Hospital and commit to funding an upgrade.
Speaking in parliament this week Ms Bath said the former Coalition Government had committed $25 million for an expansion at Wonthaggi Hospital prior to the election yet Labor was yet to provide any support for the hospital’s master plan.
Ms Bath recently visited the hospital and met with Bass Coast Health CEO Veronica Jamison and chairman of the board Peter Laydon to view the facilities and look over the hospital’s master plan.
“The staged master plan requires somewhere in the vicinity of $200 million to upgrade the hospital to sub regional status,” Ms Bath said.
The Nationals MP said Bass Coast was a big growth area and there was increasing pressure on the region’s health services.
“With a population of around 35,000 people this number can jump to as much as 100,000 at holiday time,” Ms Bath told the parliament.
“Currently the hospital’s 24 hour emergency department is situated at the back of the building with patients having to navigate through wards to attend the ER – something I myself have done when visiting the hospital with my son.
“While the care provided by staff is of a high quality the building and infrastructure is in dire need of attention to allow these wonderful staff members to provide the best quality care.”
Ms Bath said other issues included the need for an upgrade of Armitage House – a 30 bed nursing home on the same site as the hospital.
“The four-beds to a room set up is not ideal and the facility needs urgent attention to be suitable going forward,” Ms Bath said.
“It is vital that this Government support Wonthaggi Hospital’s strategic plan to ensure better health options for people living in and visiting the Bass Coast.
“I therefore request that the Minister meet with the hospital’s CEO and board at the hospital to see for herself the current infrastructure and discuss future funding opportunities.”