Kim O’KEEFFE (Shepparton) (17:26): (127) My adjournment matter is to the Minister for Health, and the action I seek is that the minister funds in this year’s budget stage 2 of the Goulburn Valley Health redevelopment. This past week the minister visited the GV Health hospital site with no mention of future funding for stage 2 of the hospital redevelopment. The GV Health stage 2 master plan has been developed, detailing the scope to deliver the works and the much-needed facilities. Stage 2 works consist of construction of an integrated cancer centre for the Goulburn Valley, increased acute and subacute inpatient capacity at the GV Health site, additional spaces for ambulatory care services for specialist clinics, clinical support and diagnostic services and the much-needed additional car parking and helipad. GV Health have received $26 million to build the integrated cancer centre.
Additional budget allocation is required to close the funding gap and to enable the integrated cancer centre project to proceed as part of the stage 2 development and to deliver best practice cancer care and treatment to people from across the Goulburn Valley. Patients are not able to have treatment locally, which causes enormous stress at an already incredibly difficult time for the patient, families and their support networks. There are also the additional costs in accommodation, travel and taking leave from employment while doing their best to care for the patient and still trying to juggle their lives and commitments at home. 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. Health care must be a priority, and I seek the minister’s support.