Only the Liberals and Nationals will ensure Swan Hill hospital has redevelopment stages one and two completed as the one project.
An additional $60 million in funding to deliver stage two will turn the hospital into a 21st century, state-of-the-art facility to cater for a booming population.
The works are part of the Liberals and Nationals’ plan to shelve the Cheltenham to Box Hill rail line and redirect every possible cent into Victoria’s struggling healthcare sector.
Leader of The Nationals and Member for Murray Plains, Peter Walsh, said the hospital has an ironclad guarantee its second stage redevelopment will begin as soon as stage one, the current emergency department work, ends in 2024.
“Any other decision would simply be a waste of taxpayer dollars and set back the completion of all the overdue upgrades,” Mr Walsh said.
“The workforce is there now, the equipment is there now, so it’s not going to cost another small fortune to keep resources on site.”
Stage two works include an acute care wing, dialysis unit, new maternity ward and new cancer treatment centre.
“While the ED had to be done, it is not enough to throw a little bit of money into the hat, get a construction site going and tell everyone what a marvellous job you are doing,” Mr Walsh said.
“This is the usual half-baked job of the Andrews Labor Government, with his signature cost overruns as certain as the sunrise.
“The medical staff and ancillary services have continued to provide quality medical care; they are not in the hospital they need and definitely not in the facility they and the community needs.
“We have great staff, we have great doctors, and we have great nurses, but particularly for the maintenance crews and the cleaning crews the building is beyond its best date.
“The capacity is just not there anymore to do what is needed for the wider Swan Hill community, which today services a region with up to a 150km radius from Swan Hill.”
Shadow Minister for Health, Georgie Crozier, said Victoria’s health system is on life support and needs crucial investment.
“The Swan Hill community deserves far better than the current facilities they have, and the Liberals and Nationals can deliver this project because we are reining in Daniel Andrews’ debt and shelving the Cheltenham to Box Hill rail line,” Ms Crozier said.