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Opposition health spokeswoman Georgie Crozier visits Warrnambool Base Hospital – THE STANDARD

The Standard – Warrnambool

By Jessica Howard
2 July, 2019 


Health Minister Jenny Mikakos is promising to visit the cramped Warrnambool Base Hospital this year, more than 200 days after being invited.

A spokesman for Ms Mikakos revealed on Tuesday the minister would inspect the hospital later in the year but could not confirm the exact date as a campaign for much-needed upgrades ramps up.

The long-awaited promise came after opposition health spokeswoman Georgie Crozier inspected the facility and said the Warrnambool community was being kept in the dark about the hospital’s future. 

The hospital needs a major redevelopment to cope with record patient numbers and procedures.

Ms Mikakos said in a statement that the government provided South West Healthcare with the funding “it needed to get the planning right for future projects”.

“There are lots of worthy projects all over Victoria, and their time will come, but for now our focus is on delivering our unprecedented $3.8 billion pipeline of projects that we said we would,” she said.

During a meeting with South West Coast MP Roma Britnell and hospital staff on Tuesday, Ms Crozier said there was no indication of when the stage two redevelopment project would receive funding, and those wanting to know were simply being ignored.

“The government needs to provide some surety to the community of Warrnambool about what is actually happening here with the development and the plans that have been so long in the making,” she said. 

“All of the staff here are doing such tremendous work but it is clear the complexity and acuity of patients that are coming to this hospital is now increasing. The demands are growing. The hospital needs to have that assurance and certainty.

“I think the community deserves that, and certainly the management and staff here who are doing that great work need that assurance too.”

Earlier this year Victoria’s Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said there was no timeline for the stage two redevelopment, which includes the construction of a new emergency department, additional operating theatres and new patient facilities.

South West Coast MP Roma Britnell said it had been more than 200 days since she invited Ms Mikakos to visit the hospital.

“Unfortunately the minister has ignored us,” she said.

“She came to the region and went as far as Terang but wasn’t able to come another few short kilometres to actually see the hospital.

“If she actually visited the accident emergency and the theatres and saw the constraints the staff were working within, and heard the challenges – like over the weekend where there were a lot of cases coming in at once – she would understand this is urgent.

“This is not just important to Warrnambool, it’s important to Portland, Hamilton, and all the smaller health services around. This is the base hospital so that we can have a complimentary service for the whole of the region that keeps our people safe.

“There is no question that this is not a fact of need, not a desire, not what we want to make it all look pretty. This is what we need to make it functional.

“We cannot support our doctors and nurses without this development. It must happen immediately, we cannot continue to wait.”

Ms Crozier said the community was being left in the dark.

“This community rightly needs to understand what the Andrews Government’s plans are. Simply ignoring them and not turning up is not good enough,” she said.

“The minister needs to come down, get outside the tram tracks of Melbourne, get outside of Lonsdale Street and visit this hospital.”


A link to The Standard is HERE


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