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State budget includes Warrnambool Base Hospital redevelopment

  • General
Tuesday, 24 Nov 2020

The Victorian Government has committed $384M of State Budget funding to progress the long-awaited redevelopment of our Warrnambool Base Hospital.

Photo 1 > SWH Board Chair Bill Brown (left) and CEO Craig Fraser rejoice at the announcement $384M is on its way to allow for the stage 2 redevelopment of our Warrnambool Base Hospital.

SWH CEO Craig Fraser has welcomed the announcement, describing it as a game changer for the region, and very exciting for our community, staff and teams and for the future of healthcare in the south west. This will result in one of the most contemporary, state-of-the-art facilities in rural Australia that will improve our excellent care, closer to home.

‘It will future-proof the delivery of healthcare services in south west Victoria for the next 30 years,’ he says.

SWH Board Chair Bill Brown is also thrilled with the news. ‘We would like to sincerely thank Premier Daniel Andrews and his government for their commitment to this important project that will provide long term benefits to the entire south west of Victoria. As Health Minister, the Premier advocated and dedicated funding to stage 1 and always said he’d finish the redevelopment, which he has promised via the Treasurer’s announcement today.’

‘We understand this will be the largest capital build to have ever occurred in rural Victoria and we do not take for granted the positive impact this will have; particularly into the future and on the long term health of our communities.

‘This will not only provide the outcome we have long desired, but will also be a significant injection of funding and stimulus into our local community over the next 3-5 years. Local businesses will be involved in building and accommodating the large teams and associated resources required to undertake this major project.’

The planned redevelopment works include new areas that are critical to the future running of SWH with room to increase services over time. Key areas to be redeveloped include:

  • Emergency department
  • Theatre suite, including sterilisation department (CSSD) and new plant and equipment
  • Inpatient unit
  • Paediatric unit
  • Short stay and day stay surgical units
  • Medical imaging
  • Pathology
  • Support services (back-of-house areas such as food services, biomedical engineering and engineering facilities)
  • Construction of the offsite regional logistics distribution centre for provision of goods and equipment and linen services to public health services in the south west (for which land was purchased in Warrnambool earlier this year)
  • Additional car parking with a new underground car park.

‘This next stage will enable us to improve patient flow and remove service delivery inefficiencies, increase throughput and timely access to critical services, improve emergency access and reduce surgical waiting-list times. It will also allow us to fully perform our expanding role as a regional referral centre, create the ability to develop and deliver contemporary models of care to patients, and remove separation between clinical areas that will now be strategically co-located together,’ Craig explains.

‘We’re committed to providing an exemplary patient experience and this redevelopment will ensure that occurs. Our ability to deliver high quality and safe healthcare services to the community have been limited by the physical limitations, age and location of our current infrastructure. I’m sure anyone who has been into our theatres, emergency department or some of our other areas would realise the building issues we have, however they’d also understand our staff continue to do an amazing job despite this. Our staff really look forward to being able to deliver new models of care in contemporary spaces whilst we continue to improve the patient experience and, importantly, also improve their comfort and enjoyment in fulfilling their roles.

‘The first step in the project will be to finalise the planning and building of the logistics and linen hub to enable these services to relocate, thereby making way for the commencement of the clinical tower.

‘I want to sincerely thank and acknowledge the huge amount of long term support from the Premier, the Victorian Health and Human Services Building Authority, current key community and business leaders, individuals, staff, medical specialists, media and local members who’ve been dedicated to achieving this redevelopment. I have no doubt your prioritisation and advocacy for this redevelopment has contributed to today’s fantastic announcement from the Victorian Government. This is a momentous day for our community and the long term future of South West Healthcare.’

Photo 2> Our 1,557 staff, these seven included, are also thrilled with the news. From left: clinical director of anaesthetics Dr James Muir, director of emergency services and interim executive director of medical services Dr Grace Sousa, perioperative services manager Tony Kelly, emergency department unit manager Jody McGovern, executive director of service development Jamie Brennan, redevelopment project manager Sandra Hilton and clinical director of orthopaedics Mr Alasdair Sutherland.

Photos courtesy of The Standard and photographer Mark Witte.

Page last updated: 15 December 2020

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