Media Release

22 November 2018

Wooldridge: Ballarat Hospital and Health Services Boost

Thursday 22 November 2018

Ballarat Hospital and Health Services Boost

The Liberal Nationals are committed to providing world class healthcare to Victoria’s regional cities.

That’s why the Liberal Nationals will build a new and improved Ballarat Base Hospital by investing $461 million for expanded surgical theatres, the emergency department, mental health facilities and a women and children’s hub. We will also immediately expand the chronic pain management clinic and the mother and baby unit.

An immediate action is a $1.6 million expansion of the Mother and Baby Mental Health unit to 7 days a week. This unit provides for mothers, babies and their families and gives them the support needed during this sometimes challenging time. The unit offers specialists psychological treatment and emotional support during pregnancy and early parenthood.

By providing this important service in the regions, mothers with their babies are able to seek treatment near their homes and support networks, instead of having to travel to a neighbouring city or Melbourne.

The Liberal Nationals will also immediately expand the Pain Clinic. This $1.8 million expansion will enable the treatment of approximately 1800 extra patients, helping them to receive support and pain management faster for conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis and back pain.

This expansion will significantly reduce the current out-of-control waiting times that patients are experiencing under Labor. Documents provided under Freedom of Information reveals there are currently 120 patients on the waiting list for chronic pain treatment, with one patient waiting 235 days for specialist treatment.

The major overhaul of Ballarat Base Hospital will complete the work started by the previous Liberal government who designed and funded the $46.4m new Drummond Street building, and delivered the Ballarat Regional Integrated Cancer Centre.

Victoria is growing over 150,000 people a year and most of that growth is occurring in Melbourne. We must look to our regional cities to absorb some of that growth. But in order to achieve that we must provide the facilities to service a growing community, like expanding major regional hospitals, such as the Ballarat Base Hospital.

The Liberal Nationals have a proven history of investing and delivering health services for Ballarat residents and will continue to do so if elected to Government on the 24th November.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Health, Mary Wooldridge:

“Ballarat residents deserve world-class facilities and only under a Liberal National Government will they get a new hospital as well as an expanded mother and baby unit and pain clinic.

The Liberal Nationals investment will mean better healthcare, closer to home with 1,000s more jobs for the region.”

Comments attributable to Liberal Candidate for Buninyong, Andrew Kilmartin:

“This funding is a great result for residents in Ballarat. Labor has been in government for 15 of the last 19 years and have failed to keep up with population growth in Ballarat and provide proper services.”

Comments attributable to Liberal Candidate for Wendouree, Amy Johnson:

“As a young mum I know how important it is to have easy access to health care during what can be a stressful time.”