Baillieu/Ryan Government To Rebuild Victoria Health

Baillieu/Ryan Government To Rebuild Victoria Health

Victoria Opposition Leader Ted Baillieu

Coalition Funds Major Upgrade For Rural Health Services

Victor P Taffa

A Victorian Liberal Nationals Coalition Government will commit an additional $70 Million to Regional Health Services, investing in Capital Funding for Health Care Facilities, Specialist Rural GPs, Bush Nursing, Relocation and Retention Incentives for Doctors and Maternity and Obstetrics Services.

Visiting the Ballan and District Soldiers’ Memorial Bush Nursing Hospital today, Mr. Baillieu said the Coalition will work in Government to fix the problems in Rural and Regional Health Services created by 11 years of Labor Neglect and Failure.

“Under Premier John Brumby, Victorian families living in Rural and Regional Areas wait too long for a GP and find it hard to access Specialist Services such as Maternity Care, Obstetrics, Anaesthetics, Emergency Medicine and General Surgery.” Mr. Baillieu said.



“The Coalition has a clear Plan to help families in Rural and Regional Victoria by investing in GPs who will specialise in rural medicine and funding greater access to services.”

“The Coalition’s Four-Year Rural GP Postgraduate Program will enable Medical Graduates employed in the Health Sector to not only specialise in their chosen medical fields but also to train for the unique challenges presented in Rural and Regional Healthcare.”

The Coalition’s Plan to further support and encourages Regional and Rural Medicine over the first term of a Coalition Government includes:

A $56 Million Capital Works Grants Program to fix problems created by Labor’s decade of neglect of rural and regional health care facilities. The Coalition will make available $14 million per annum to rural and regional hospitals for smaller capital works. This program will enable health groups to decide for themselves what projects are most urgent.

Specialist Rural GPs ($2.4 Million): providing a four-year postgraduate training program while medical graduates are working within the health sector, to train as GP Rural Generalists in obstetrics, anaesthetics, emergency medicine and surgery and to work in rural Victorian communities. Rural clinical schools will be supported to work with rural hospitals to put students through the program and onto a range of clinical placements.

Increased Funding for Bush Nursing ($2.2 Million) to support this vital service in its centenary year and provide crucial funding for 23 community-owned and run facilities across country Victoria.

Increasing Numbers of Registered Midwives ($5 Million) to provide clinical placement, support, and supervision by hospitals for undergraduate and post-graduate midwifery students. According to the Nurses Board of Victoria, the number of registered midwives in Victoria has fallen by 894 since 2003-04 while Victoria is recording its highest birth rate since 1972.

Grants for Continuing Medical Education ($1 Million) to offset the high costs of medical education for doctors working in rural and regional Victoria so doctors can update their knowledge and skills at metropolitan locations. Additional allowances will also be paid to trainee doctors who complete a minimum of 13 weeks in a rural placement.

A Rural Relocation Fund ($1.6 Million) to help doctors relocate from metropolitan locations to regional communities, helping hospitals who are finding it harder to attract medical staff to work in rural areas and doctors and their families who incur high costs in relocating to rural areas.

Rural Scholarships of $20,000 each for Rural Medical Students ($1.8 Million) with a return of service bond which can be discharged during the Rural Generalist program – to cover living expenses, a tertiary grant, travel and conference assistance;

Improving the Collection of Data on Rural Obstetrics to shape future Maternity Care Models ($220,000).

Employment of Undergraduate Midwifery Students who are certified Division 2 Nurses or Post-Graduate Midwifery Students (some of whom are Division 1 nurses) in a maternity setting appropriate to their skills.

The Coalition is also committed to increasing the skilled Medical Workforce in rural areas and encouraging the opening and re-opening of Maternity Units in Regional Victoria.

In addition, the Coalition will work in partnership with the Commonwealth Government to strengthen and develop Victoria’s health and hospital infrastructure, with funding sought from the Commonwealth’s $1.8 Billion Regional Priority Round Fund.

The Coalition’s bid to the Commonwealth will seek funding to reflect the shared responsibility for upgrades to health infrastructure in regional and rural cities and towns, including Echuca, Swan Hill, Wonthaggi and Mildura.

The Victorian submission would also seek funding for key mental health initiatives in country Victoria consistent with state-wide plans and objectives. Today’s announcement brings to more than $800 Million the total funding committed by the Coalition to improve Health Care for Victorian families living in Rural and Regional Areas, including Investments in new Infrastructure, Ambulance Services, Doctors, Nurses and other Health Professionals.

These commitments include:

  • $630 Million for a new Bendigo Hospital,
  • $88.4 Million for Ballarat Health Services,
  • $9 Million for Mildura Base Hospital, Ballan Bush Nursing Hospital and Warragul Hospital Emergency Department, More Ambulance Services and Stations for Regional Victoria,
  • $2 Million for a helipad at Ballarat Hospital,
  • $1.8 Million to redevelop Ballarat District Nursing and Healthcare’s Facilities,
  • $5 Million for Radiology Services in South West Victoria.

Responsibility for Election Comment

Under the provisions of the relevant Electoral Act responsibility for all election comment is assumed by Editor Victor P Taffa. The Registered office of The Southern Thunderer is at 4/69a Darvall Road, West Ryde NSW 2114.