Media Release

16 November 2018

Wooldridge: Liberals plan for health services in Melton

Thursday 15 November 2018

Liberals plan for health services in Melton

Melbourne’s western suburbs are experiencing massive uncontrolled population growth and Daniel Andrews has no plan for the current and future health care needs of the nearly 1 million residents.

That is why only a Liberal Nationals Government will develop a comprehensive health service and infrastructure plan for Melbourne’s west.

The Western Melbourne Health and Hospitals Plan will examine population growth, map the current delivery of health services, assess current infrastructure and identify areas of unmet needs both now and into the future.

While hospital infrastructure is one of the core components of the plan, it will tie in allied health, community health and primary health, as well as mental health and alcohol and drug treatment to bring together the whole healthcare picture.

The Liberal Nationals comprehensive health plan will ensure we have the appropriate health services and infrastructure to deliver quality care from a child’s first days right through to palliative care at the end of life, as close to home as possible.

Melbourne’s west is one of the fastest growing regions of metropolitan Melbourne, with already nearly 1 million people. In the past 10 years the population has grown by over 40% compared to 23% for the rest of the state.

The population growth of Melbourne’s west will continue to boom, adding an additional 350,000 people over the next 15 years.

The population of Melton is expected to increase by nearly 79% over the next 15 years while Moorabool is expected to grow by 38%. This is significantly faster than the rest of Melbourne, which is expected to grow by 19% during the same period.

Along with rapid population growth, the health of those living in Melbourne’s west consistently ranks lower than that of other regions in metropolitan Melbourne, often due to social and economic challenges.

The services in Melbourne’s western suburbs are facing significant challenges, including excessive waiting times at emergency departments, with Sunshine Hospital having the longest wait time in Victoria and Footscray ED the second longest.

Hospitals are calling for significant capital investment and there has been a strong community campaign for a new hospital in rapidly growing Melton. Further, community health services are under great pressure, particularly with excessive wait times for services such as dental health.

Despite this, under Daniel Andrews, there is no health plan for Melbourne’s West.

Labor has been in power for 15 of the last 19 years and has lost control of population; allowing unmanaged, unchecked, unplanned population throughout our growth suburbs and our health services are under enormous strain.

The plan will build on the existing work of the Better Health Plan for the West and engage both the partners involved and other relevant contributors.

Unlike Labor, the Liberals will undertake the planning needed to get back in control of population growth and get a head of planning for Melbourne’s future health needs.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Health, Mary Wooldridge:

“Only the Liberals will ensure that residents in Melbourne’s west have high quality, well planned healthcare to live healthy and happy lives.

Melbourne’s west is the fastest growing area, in one of the fastest growing cities in the developed world. We need to look long term and plan healthcare for both now and the decades to come.

Comments attributable to Liberal candidate for Melton, Ryan Farrow:

“Labor has lost control of our population growth and have failed to plan to ensure Melton residents have access to the full range of health services as locally as possible.

Under a Liberal government we will have a clear plan for a future Melton Hospital, health and mental health services, including how they connect to services across Melton’s west.”