Goulburn Valley Health Community Advisory Group members will see their aspirations in bricks and mortar when they inspect Eastern Health next week, Independent Member for Shepparton District Suzanna Sheed said today.
The state-of-the-art health service is the result of a multimillion dollar redevelopment of Box Hill Hospital, now the major centre for people living in Melbourne’s east.
Ms Sheed said Shepparton’s need for the same standard of facilities and services was urgent.
She said Box Hill’s new facilities included many of those sought in Goulburn Valley Health’s redevelopment plan such as:
- a greatly expanded Emergency Department;
- new operating theatres and more hospital beds;
- the filling of service gaps such as cardiology and radiation therapy.
The community advisory group, representing a broad range of interests relevant to the planning of a new regional health service, was appointed last year and held its first meeting in November 2015 and then a public forum on 14 December 2015.
“Previous governments have ignored the health needs of this community,’’ Ms Sheed said.
“As an Independent member of the State Parliament I have been working hard to develop the relationships necessary to progress plans for the redevelopment and to avoid the political arguments and point-scoring that our party system seems to function under.’’
Goulburn Valley Health had lobbied government for a major redevelopment for at least 15 years, Ms Sheed said.
“I strongly urge the Andrews Labor Government to stand by its commitment to govern for all Victorians and to invest where the need is greatest; I’m encouraged that in its first budget an allocation for planning and community consultation was made.’’
Ms Sheed will show Treasurer Tim Pallas around Goulburn Valley Health when he visits in March.
“I welcome the chance to expose him to the out-of-date facilities our excellent staff tolerate every day to provide these essential services to our community,” Ms Sheed said.
Goulburn Valley Health Community Advisory Group, chaired by Ms Sheed, will meet in February to review its findings from the Box Hill Hospital visit and advance its recommendations for the new health service.