Tuesday, 20 September 2022

Questions without notice and ministers statements

Ministers statements: health system

Ministers statements: health system

Mr ANDREWS (Mulgrave—Premier) (14:05): I am very pleased to update the house on a recent visit to Wonthaggi with the outstanding and hardworking member for Bass, where we were able to stand in the almost complete—very nearly complete—stage 1 redevelopment of the Wonthaggi Hospital to thank nurses and ambos and doctors, the whole team, for their amazing work and to announce that we will, if re-elected, build stage 2 of that hospital as well. There is only one thing better than going to an almost completed stage 1, and that is announcing that you will get on and deliver stage 2 as well. The member for Bass knows very well that her community needs better facilities so they can provide more care to a growing community.

It was not just in Wonthaggi that we made that announcement. We also indicated that in an Australian first, in partnership with our paramedic workforce, we will deliver for the first time ever paramedic practitioners to go and treat people in their homes, not necessarily transport them, and keep them out of emergency departments, keep them out of hospitals, filling a vital gap in our healthcare system—a bridge, if you like, between primary care and acute care. It is wholeheartedly welcomed by the Victorian Ambulance Union, the secretary of which has not even spoken to some—never met them or spoken to them. In stark contrast we have a partnership with our paramedics. We do not go to war with them. We have a partnership with our paramedics. It might be one of the reasons why we have recruited—

Members interjecting.

Mr ANDREWS: Stop interjecting and listen up—2200 additional ambos, additional paramedics, over these last eight years.

But it is not just about regional health, it is also about suburban health. There is a massive, massive program of works: a brand new hospital for Melbourne’s east and a brand new name in honour of Queen Elizabeth II; today a massive expansion of the emergency department at the Austin; and essentially an even bigger redevelopment, a new ED and towers, at the Northern Hospital. So on all points of the compass Labor is delivering.