A new $1.5 billion hospital promised for Footscray will become a major health hub for Melbourne’s booming western suburbs population, the Victorian government said.
After months of planning, Labor released details of its promised 504-bed facility if it wins the November election.
The hospital will be built next to Victoria University on a new site at Ballarat and Geelong roads starting in 2020 and will open by 2025.
Victorian Health Minister Jill Hennessy said the hospital will treat an extra 15,000 patients each year, easing the pressure on Melbourne’s health system.
“This commitment will be an absolute game changer for healthcare in Melbourne’s western suburbs,” Ms Hennessy said.
“There’ll be a very big expansion of mental health services and palliative care services as well as outpatient clinics [and] 2000 jobs delivered during the construction period.”
Footscray Hospital is past its use-by-date and the hospital is a “really challenging” place for patients and staff alike, Ms Hennessy said.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said building at new site will make it a seamless transition for patients and medical staff alike.
“[It] means we’ll be able to build the hospital while not disrupting the current facility and will mean we can deliver the outcome much quicker,” he said.
“This is a profound investment in the best facilities to provide the best care in one of the fastest-growing areas anywhere in our nation.”
Mr Andrews also said the new hospital will take the pressure off state hospitals like the Royal Melbourne so that thousands of patients can be treated closer to home.
The health minister described the hospital build as “the biggest investment in a metropolitan hospital that our state has ever seen”.