Nationals demand answers on South Gippsland Hospital upgrade

The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Melina Bath has again spoken in parliament about the overdue funding needs of the South Gippsland Hospital in Foster.

 The hospital – built in the 1950s – has sought $1.6 million from the current round of the Regional Health Infrastructure Fund for upgrades to maternity and theatre facilities.

 There has been no announcement from the Andrews Labor Government, despite earlier assurances around timing.

 “The Minister for Health Jill Hennessy said there would be an answer by November 2017. It’s now February 2018 and still no word,” Ms Bath said.

 “The current proposal includes the use of new technologies to ensure that local community members have access to safe, affordable care at South Gippsland Hospital, and avoid the cost and time burden of travelling to Melbourne or a regional hospital.”

 “With sub-standard facilities and no news on this overdue upgrade, the hospital cannot secure the employment of medical professionals due to the uncertainty. It’s a spiralling situation which the Minister must act on.”

 The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien said the South Gippsland Hospital is in desperate need of an upgrade.

 “I have previously written to the Minister for Health Jill Hennessy lobbying for funding to undertake the extension,” Mr O’Brien said.

 “The hospital board has followed the process laid out by the Andrews Government and were told there would be a response to their proposal by November 2017.”

 “This is an important project for the Foster and District community and I again call on the Andrews Labor Government to support this extension as a matter of priority.”