Health initiatives (16.10.2014)

Written on the 16 October 2014


Ms CROZIER (Southern Metropolitan) -- My question is also to the Minister for Health, Mr Davis.

Could the minister update the house on what the Napthine government is doing to combat the most significant causes of premature deaths in Victoria -- namely, cancer and heart disease?


Hon. D. M. DAVIS (Minister for Health) -- I am pleased to respond to Ms Crozier's question and note her important advocacy for a number of key projects around Victoria. But there are two key projects I want to respond to today, and one concerns the $1 billion Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre that is being built in Parkville now.

I was pleased to join Premier Napthine on the weekend at a topping-out ceremony for this massive project -- 6 storeys down and 13 up.

It is a massive outcome for the community, a project that is ahead of time and ahead of budget and is going to deliver a great outcome for cancer patients and the research link that is so important for our patients.

The Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre will move to the comprehensive cancer centre. It will be part of the Parkville precinct. It will certainly see a great outcome in terms of proximity to key research. Research facilities will be integrated into the comprehensive cancer centre, and I think the community will see that what we are building is the very best cancer centre in the country, the very best system countrywide.

What I can also say is that the government is proud to have gone to Monash Medical Centre to make an announcement about MonashHeart the other day. MonashHeart will be the first heart hospital of its type in Australia.

It will be world leading, and it will again mix research with the very best clinical outcomes, both from the prevention end all the way through to the highest tertiary services.MonashHeart will be linked with the main hospital. It will be a $120 million project. It will deliver an outcome for the community in the south-east and an outcome for people across Victoria. I think it will become a significant beacon nationally and internationally as well. I pay tribute to the clinicians at MonashHeart. I pay tribute to the work that has been done by the steering committee, which has sought to put the state government in a position where it could come forward with very significant funding to make this occur.

I can be very clear that the government is committed to this project. We see this as a project that will deliver for those with chronic cardiac conditions, as the comprehensive cancer centre will deliver for those with chronic cancer and other cancer conditions. But importantly the link with research will make sure that the very best treatments are delivered into the future.

All of this stands in stark contrast to the previous government, which was not prepared to take these steps. It was not the previous government that delivered the Box Hill Hospital; it had a half-baked proposal. I have to say that it was not the previous government that delivered a Bendigo Hospital with the capacity that it needs for future. That is being delivered now. The previous government did not deliver the hospitals in Echuca and Kerang, the health services in Barwon or the helipad in Ballarat.

Mr Jennings interjected.

Hon. D. M. DAVIS -- All of these are examples of neglect by Mr Jennings's government over 11 years -- catch-up work that we are doing to make sure there are proper, modern health services, whether it be Frankston Hospital with the new emergency department that is being built now, the new emergency department that has been built at Northern Hospital or the additional intensive care unit we have just opened at Maroondah Hospital. All of these are significant achievements of this government that stand in stark contrast to the failure of the previous government to invest properly in health, the failure of the previous government to do what was necessary.

The PRESIDENT -- Order! Thank you, Minister.

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