Bass Coast Health CEO Lea Pope, McMillan MP Russell Broadbent, Bass MP Ken Smith, Minister for Health David Davis and Bass Coast Health Director of Community Services Ward Steet, check out the new dental clinics. Rg07_3114
By Mitch Guy
THE State Government will spend $499,000 on refurbishing and modernising ageing wards at the Wonthaggi Hospital, and more funding announcements will follow according to Minister for Health David Davis.
“We have in place service and master plans which will be developed block by block, bit by bit,” he said.
Mr Davis was at the hospital on Friday for the official opening of Bass Coast Health’s new Community Rehabilitation Centre and Dental Clinic.
“Bass Coast Health was among 31 health services to share in $17.5 million worth of grants from the third round of the Rural Capital Support Fund,” Mr Davis said.
“The Victorian Coalition Government is delivering $56 million over four years through the Rural Capital Support Fund which provides grants to improve rural and regional health facilities.
“Bass Coast Health will receive $499,000 to redevelop facilities in the acute and surgical wards at the Wonthaggi Hospital.”
Bass MP Ken Smith said the modern refurbishment will significantly improve safety and comfort for patients, enabling staff to continue delivering the highest quality care.
“With an ageing population, demand for subacute and rehabilitation services is rapidly increasing in Gippsland,” he said.
Mr Davis spoke at the opening of the Bass Coast Health Community Rehabilitation Centre and Dental Clinic along with Member for McMillan Russell Broadbent and Bass Coast Health CEO Lea Pope.
The upgraded Community Rehabilitation Centre will allow local patients to access specialist rehabilitation services closer to home.
The dental clinic has also been upgraded to become a five-chair dental clinic, with the option to expand and add three more chairs in the future.
CEO Lea Pope said the dental clinic has received great feedback from the community.
“We were always taking people through, showing them how horrible the clinic was,” she said.
“Now we are showing them how great it is as it really is state of the art.
“We’re giving the people of this area what they enjoy and deserve.”
Liberal candidate for Bass Brian Paynter said the Liberals were proud to support the redevelopment of the Bass Coast Public Dental Clinic, taking a massive step in cutting local public dental waiting lists.
Dental waiting times at the clinic have halved in recent times as a result of the new and improved facilities.
Mr Davis said the Napthine Government is building a healthier Victoria, with record health infrastructure investment underway across Victoria.
These improvements are made possibly through funding provided through the Rural Capital Support Fund.
“We have significantly boosted funding for Bass Coast Regional Health, with its funding increased by 18 per cent since 2010/11, to $30.273 million in 2013/14,” Mr Davis said.
Lea Pope will depart from the position of CEO in September, and Mr Davis took the opportunity to pay tribute to the departing CEO.
“Lea has shown leadership and a clear-eyed focus on the health of Bass Coast,” he said.
“There will be an increase to Bass Coast Health funding every year.
“We’re proud of the quality service provided here.”
Mr Broadbent also commented on the good work by the Minister for Health, Lea Pope and Ken Smith.
“It’s not about David, Smithy or Lea,” he said.
“For them, it’s about the people that use the services.”
The Minister for Health said the development of the new facilities was a result of “great collaboration by governments”.
Mr Davis said it was a firm priority to continue to improve services in Bass Coast.
“There will be further announcements in the future.”