At the end of February, Victorian Minister for Health & Ageing, the Hon. David Davis, paid a very special visit to Williamstown Hospital.This year marks the 120th anniversary of Williamstown Hospital and the end of last year also saw the expansion and re-opening of the theatres. Western Health Board Chair the Hon. Ralph Willis gave an overview of the history of the Hospital. “In 1889 a group of Williamstown residents held a meeting and identified a need for a local hospital. “The increasing risk of accidents from a busy port, the railway workshops and the growing industrial area of Newport, Spotswood and Footscray led to the community establishing Melbourne's first suburban public general hospital,” Mr Willis said.“After five years the hospital was built and the first patient was admitted in July 1894. The Hospital’s first Annual report was published in June 1895, and its first year running costs were subsided by a 100 pound grant from the Government and 104 pounds raised by local churches and factories.“Over the years it has continued to grow and adapt, and Western Health is proud to have played a part in its great tradition.”Towards the end of last year Williamstown Hospital re-opened its theatres, after several months of capital development work. As Melbourne’s West continues to expand, we are faced with numerous health challenges, including the rising demand for elective surgery.An initiative of the National Partnership Agreement, the redevelopment of the operating suite includes an additional operating room, nine recovery bays and the expansion of the Central Sterile Supply Department (CSSD). The theatres are used predominately for elective orthopaedics and urology procedures. They are also supported by Ear, Nose & Throat, general surgery and a small amount of plastic surgery. With a total of four theatres, the Williamstown Hospital is now an elective surgery centre for Western Health. Since the re-opening of its theatres on 6 November last year, over 1000 elective surgeries have been conducted at Williamstown Hospital.Western Health is extremely grateful to the Commonwealth government for the funding which enabled the expansion to take place and the Victorian Department of Health for its additional support.