$58 million funding boost for Goulburn Valley Health

By Ashlea Witoslawski

Already holding the title of Shepparton's most expensive development, Goulburn Valley Health now also gets the gong as the tallest, a milestone celebrated with a visit from Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews.

Joined by Health Minister Jenny Mikakos, the visit also included a $58 million funding boost to expand stage one of the hospital's redevelopment.

Mr Andrews referred to the extra funding as part of "Stage One Plus", which will help deliver 24/7 imaging services in the expanded emergency department.

Specifics include two new X-ray rooms, a CT scan room, an ultrasound room and an additional operating theatre.

Mr Andrews said the additional funding will support the hospital to offer an essential service needed in the region.

“This is massive for jobs, skills, economic opportunity — but it's also about keeping people in this town and attracting new people to come and live here," he said.

“We’re so proud to be doing the work we’ve been doing.”

A total of $229.3 million has been invested by the state government for the project, which will double the capacity of the emergency department, with 36 treatment spaces and nine short-stay beds for patients.

The new building will also feature 64 inpatient beds, 10 intensive care beds, eight operating theatres, a new kitchen,a 12-bed maternity unit, a 10-cot special care nursery and a 12-bed paediatric ward.

Construction is also under way for an improved dialysis department, complete with 16 chairs all ready to go by November 1.

“With more specialist appointments being held in Shepparton, our nurses and doctors are busier than ever before — that’s why we’re making this landmark redevelopment even bigger and better," Ms Mikakos said.

“This is a win for this local community on many different levels.”

Mr Andrews said stage two of the redevelopment is in the planning phase.

“The Federal Government I know have made some commitments also and if we can work with them to share the effort then that would be a fantastic outcome," he said.

“The critical thing is getting the planning right and to not make nonsense promises that don't mean very much to a community like Shepparton.

“We'll be back here at a day in the future and we'll make a real promise.”

Independent Member for Shepparton Suzanna Sheed was delighted by the visit and the state government's extra investment in the project.

“It’s just been really fantastic to see the investment that’s going on in the region," she said.

“To get an expansion on what was already a fabulous project is just awesome for this community.”

Stage one is expected to be complete next year.