The West has changed, and will continue to change over the coming years, leading to an exciting and diverse community with varied needs. The West is growing rapidly, and the Government’s plans for the region – identified in the document Plan Melbourne - will ensure this growth continues at a rapid rate for many years to come.
Our population has almost doubled since the early 1990s. Seemingly almost overnight, a region the size of Adelaide has grown up in Western Melbourne. In response, Western Health - with the support of the Victorian Government - is building a modern health system to cope with both current and future demand. Western Health serves a diverse region, which has now reached approximately 800,000, and will exceed one million within a decade.
There are two standout issues: The first is an urgent need to build dedicated co-located settings for our Women’s and Children’s services at Sunshine Hospital. Not to do so will increase pressure on Women’s and Children’s centres elsewhere, including in central Melbourne. The second is that more than half of the Footscray Hospital is beyond remodelling – it will need to be demolished and rebuilt as soon as possible, so Western Health can continue to provide patient care in suitable and sustainable buildings. This is a plan, which fundamentally counteracts waste while improving outcomes.
Births at Western Health are projected to exceed 7000 a year over the coming decade: this figure represents a critical mass allowing delivery of a comprehensive, integrated service.
We will increase the proportion of the local population who can access services at Western Health (also known asself-sufficiency) which is currently only at 60% for the local community.
Emergency care in Footscray is forecast to increase to exceed 40,000 cases a year in the coming decade.