The funding of a Women's and Children's Hospital announced in today's State Budget has been hailed as a great breakthrough in the provision of healthcare for the families of the West of Melbourne.
"I am extremely pleased that today the Victorian Government has committed the $200 million to build a Women's and Children's Hospital at Sunshine," Western Health Chief Executive, Associate Professor Alex Cockram said.
"This facility is so critically important to meeting the extraordinary demands of the fastest growing population area in Australia.
"I am sure that the women and their families in the West will be so relieved to hear of this commitment today.
"The number of births at Sunshine Hospital have reached more than 5,000 and 7,200 births are expected in 2026 and we simply could not meet that demand without this new hospital.
"By developing a Women's and Children's Hospital at Sunshine, we will also be able to free up large areas to increase the services we offer to our other patients. For example, it will enable us to perform thousands of additional operations each year," A/Prof Cockram said.
The Western Women's and Children's Hospital will provide 237 beds, 39 special care nursery cots, four theatres and additional clinics. A new, purpose built children's ward will be a feature of the new centre.
Preliminary work for the new hospital will be carried out over the next year with the main construction to take place in the following two years.
Sunshine Hospital has the third highest number of births of any Victorian hospital, after The Women's and Mercy Heidelberg, yet this major maternity service currently operates in and around a very busy general hospital.
A/Prof Cockram also welcomed another important announcement in today's State Budget, which will be of great benefit to patients right across the West of Melbourne – with the Government committing funds for the opening of an additional four critical care beds across Western Health, as part of its funding of the recommendations of the Travis Review of hospital beds.
"The funding of additional critical care beds is absolutely essential to enable Western Health to make the most of the wonderful new facilities now available at Sunshine Hospital following the opening of an Intensive Care Unit and cardiac care service at Sunshine in March this year," A/Prof Cockram said.
"We are pleased to be able to expand our service in response to the extreme community need for these services and to provide them in a hospital which is much closer to their home."