Member for Shepparton and District, Kim O’Keeffe, says she is “dumbfounded” by Health Minister Mary-Anne Thomas’ claims the Goulburn Valley Health redevelopment “is complete”.
She took her demands for the urgent funding needed to “complete the project” to the floor of Parliament this week to ask when Stage 2 will be completely funded.
“This past week the Minister visited the GV Health hospital site and made absolutely no mention of the future funding for the second stage of its redevelopment,” Ms O’Keeffe added.
“Instead, she took the occasion to declare ‘the hospital is complete and avoided questions regarding Stage 2 Funding’” she says.
“Stage two of the GV Health masterplan has been developed detailing the scope to deliver the following:
- Construction of an integrated cancer centre for the Goulburn Valley
- Increased acute and subacute inpatient capacity at GV Health’s site
- Additional spaces for ambulatory care services for specialist clinics
- Additional car parking and a helipad
- Clinical support and diagnostic services
“When will we see Stage 2 funded and all of that translated from the drawing board to the hospital site? Then we might start talking about complete.
Ms O’Keeffe says GV Health received $26 million to build its Integrated Cancer Centre but additional budget allocation is required to close the funding gap to enable the ICC project to proceed as part of the stage two development.
She says to deliver the best practice cancer care and treatment the people across the Goulburn Valley deserve, the Minister and the Andrews Labor government need to concede the job is not finished, and to commit to the funding needed to proceed.
“Right now, patients are not able to have treatment locally, which causes enormous stress at an already incredibly difficult time for them, their families and support networks,” Ms O’Keeffe says.
“Then, because we are regional, there are the additional costs in accommodation, travel and taking leave from their employment while doing their best to care for the patient and still trying to juggle lives and other family members back home,” she says.
“In too many cases those close to the patient cannot be there to support them during their time of need, due to the distance and all the other challenges of being regionally based.
“The Minster has said Healthcare is a priority across the State. I am seeking the Minister’s support in making sure that the GV Health redevelopment be completed, and that the Health Care of the people in my electorate is also a priority.