Wednesday, 8 February 2023

Questions without notice and ministers statements

Ministers statements: Wonthaggi Hospital

Ministers statements: Wonthaggi Hospital

Daniel ANDREWS (Mulgrave – Premier) (14:05): I am very pleased to update the house on our recent visit to Wonthaggi Hospital. Bass Coast Health do a fantastic job. The members of the management team there, every single clinician and every member of staff, they work hard to provide the best care to a beautiful part of our state – a proud community and one that doubles in size every summer because of its noted status as a great tourism destination. Of course we were there, the member for Bass and I and the Minister for Health, to officially open stage 1 of the redeveloped Wonthaggi Hospital – $115 million worth of investment. We are committed to delivering stage 2 – some $290 million worth of investment. Of course you would be pretty confident that those who delivered stage 1 will get on and deliver stage 2, and that is exactly what we will do. This is the best way to say thank you to our nurses, to our ambos, to cooks, cleaners and ward clerks and to communities who have been through so much in recent years. This project is one of literally hundreds of projects in rural and regional health services to upgrade equipment, upgrade infrastructure, recruit more staff, treat more patients and provide better care. Whilst there are some who run down our rural and regional health system, we are instead –

Members interjecting.

Daniel ANDREWS: Well, self-identification is everything. I simply said ‘there are some’, and others are very offended by that. The Regional Health Infrastructure Fund has funded some $790 million worth of projects – or, to put it another way, 630-plus projects have been funded right across rural and regional Victoria. Health services are critically important. We do not close hospitals. We do not privatise hospitals. We do not privatise hospitals or sell them; we rebuild them and we staff them properly.