Health Care Boost for the North

By Danielle Green, MP for Yan Yean

What a busy year so far, and we are finally getting back to our pre-COVID community routines and activities.

Melbourne comes alive again, with fantastic music, sporting and cultural events returning to our beautiful city, regions and suburbs – including the Grand Prix, Hamilton the Musical, Queer at the NGV, Elvis at the Bendigo Art Gallery and of course footy is back at the MCG.

There is still a lot of work to do as we continue to recover from COVID-19, which is why Andrews’ Labor Government is wasting no time in improving healthcare and creating jobs, close to home .

Record numbers of Victorians, particularly in North Melbourne, will be operated on under the Victorian Government’s COVID catch-up plan, designed to catch up on delayed care and get more people into theaters and off the waiting list .

The plan includes a $1.5 billion investment that will allow more than 240,000 public patients to undergo surgery each year by 2024, more than 40,000 more procedures per year than pre-pandemic levels.

The three-year investment will also expand activity in our public hospitals, increase same-day surgeries, expand twilight and after-hours work, and improve theater to increase efficiency.

Rapid Access Centers – which exclusively perform specific surgeries such as hernia repairs, cataract surgeries and joint replacements – will be established in metropolitan public hospitals, which will streamline operating rooms, equipment and the staff.

The first eight centers will be established next year at St Vincent’s on the Park, Broadmeadows Hospital, Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital, Royal Women’s Hospital, Werribee Mercy Hospital, Sandringham Hospital, Peter MacCallum Cancer Center and one in regional Victoria with details to be confirmed shortly.

Northerners will also soon be able to access more comprehensive health services closer to home; The Labor Government is investing $675m to build t10n community hospitals in key growth areas, including brand new community hospitals in Mernda and Craigieburn.

Mernda Town Center based community hospital will be a small public hospital offering a range of services including chronic disease management, chemotherapy, social support and women’s health.

Craigieburn Community Hospital will be a small public hospital offering a range of inpatient, outpatient and community health services.

Community feedback and feedback received through June 2020 shaped the service design and early service planning phases of these projects. At the beginning of April.

These investments will reassure residents that they have access to the best care possible, close to home, while creating new jobs.

Additionally, alongside the pandemic, mental health is one of the biggest challenges facing Victorians today. The Labor Government is committed to building a mental health system that will support us all, now and in the future.

The creation of new local mental health and wellbeing services for adults and older people is a key recommendation of the Royal Commission on Victoria’s mental health system. These services will help Victorians access help from the community sooner, before they need access to a hospital or when they reach a point of crisis.

Whittlesea is one of the priority areas for the deployment of mental health sites statewide – Whittlesea has one of the highest levels of mental health community contact per capita, as well as significant evidence regarding mental health issues ongoing mental health related to the Black Saturday bushfires.

The first of these local services is expected to open from mid-2022, with the initial six priority services open by the end of 2022.

When you vote in the federal election on May 21, it is important for Victorians to know which party supports them when it comes to funding health care and mental health.

The Morrison coalition government cut health funding in Victoria in its recent budget and its contribution to mental health funding has been abysmal. Shockingly before the pandemic, the Morrison government cut support funding for medical staff in Doreen, Whittlesea and Wallan which is needed to address our local shortage of doctors. Residents wait up to a week, even for urgent appointments. It’s just not good enough and forces patients to go to hospital emergency departments for non-emergency health issues.

As the creators of Medicare, only Labor can be trusted to fund and sustain health.

My team and I are always ready to help – please feel free to contact me on 9432 9782 or email danielle.green@parliament.vic.gov.au

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