A new Andrews Labor Government $200 million fund to rebuild rural and regional health facilities – the largest of its kind in Victorian history – is now open for applications.

Harriet Shing, Member for Eastern Victoria today urged health services in Gippsland to apply for a share of $50 million from the first round of the new Regional Health Infrastructure Fund.

The Fund will upgrade rural and regional hospitals to ensure all Victorians can access the high quality care and facilities they need and deserve, no matter where they live.

Grants can be used to build new, remodel or refurbish existing facilities to provide greater comfort for patients and enable doctors and nurses to deliver safer and more efficient care that improves patient outcomes.

Health services can also apply to the Fund to buy equipment including furniture, fittings, and medical equipment or upgrade essential infrastructure such as plant equipment, systems to reduce power and water usage and information and communications technology.

All Victorian regional public health services, local and small rural health services, public residential aged care services, registered community health services, bush nursing hospitals and centres, women’s health services and Aboriginal community controlled health organisations are eligible to apply.

The Victorian Budget 2016/17 delivered an extra $2.45 billion for health so hospitals can admit more patients, reduce waiting times, upgrade buildings and infrastructure, and keep Victorians healthy.

The Labor Government’s record investment will enable hospitals will be able to admit an extra 79,000 patients, treat an extra 43,000 patients in emergency departments across the state.

We are also providing $817 million to build new hospitals and ambulance stations, as well as buying the latest advances in medical equipment so our dedicated doctors and nurses can deliver even better care.

The former Coalition Government gutted our hospitals, ripping $1 billion from our health system and underinvesting in building projects. Through our new $200 million Fund we’re turning our health system around and rebuilding our regional and rural hospitals.

Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria, Harriet Shing:

“I urge health services throughout Gippsland to apply now for the Regional Health Infrastructure Fund to help them to expand their capacity, improve efficiency and deliver the very best care for patients.”

“This new Fund will help ensure our hardworking doctors and nurses in Gippsland can do their jobs saving lives in a modern, safe environment.”

“Across the state we are delivering a record investment in our health system, to make sure Gippslanders can access the very best care, close to home and when they need it.”