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More needed or hospital will be half done

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November 30, 2017

Goulburn Valley Health’s chief executive believes Shepparton health advocates will need to push strongly for government funding to avoid a half-completed hospital.

Speaking at the hospital’s annual meeting on Tuesday, chief executive Trevor Saunders detailed the stage one and two plans for the hospital.

Despite the Victorian Government approving a $169million rebuild of the hospital, Mr Saunders said it only accounted for half of the work needed to bring the hospital up to scratch.

Early works have started for stage one and include the building of a four-storey tower, three new operating theatres, two additional wards, an extended emergency department, refurbished maternity department, new special care nursery and expansion of dialysis and medical imaging services.

Stage two focuses on dated medical and rehabilitation wards, allied health, the original hospital building, the introduction of a helipad and medical imaging departments.

Mr Saunders said the hospital was ready to work with local members, the community and the health department to secure funding approval for the second stage.

‘‘The master plan has been done and stage two is in the planning process, but we don’t yet have that funding support,’’ Mr Saunders said.

‘‘The object of stage two is to make it run straight after stage one, so we’re not left with half of a new hospital.’’

The original hospital dates back to 1963, administration to 1970 and the rehabilitation and medical wards to 1980.

Mr Saunders also highlighted the need for a cancer centre, which he hoped could link in with the development of the hospital, as well as extra funding for the expansion of Community Health in Corio St.

The push for the cancer service comes as private provider GenesisCare successfully secured a health program grant for the establishment of radiotherapy services in Shepparton.

State Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell, who has been a strong advocate for the improvement of health services locally, said the radiotherapy services, along with mental health and outpatient services, had been overlooked with the first stage of the hospital redevelopment.

She is pushing the Victorian Government to support a public/private partnership with GenesisCare to provide treatment for all public patients.

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