Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos visited the Wonthaggi Hospital on Thursday and spoke to Phillip Island patient Margaret Lee about her specialist appointments and treatments in regional Victoria. N103719

Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos and Bass MP Jordan Crugnale visited the Wonthaggi
emergency department on Thursday, meeting patient Geoff Murphy and his wife Hazel Landry from Rhyll. N123719

CONSTRUCTION on the $115m upgrade of the Wonthaggi Hospital is set to commence within the coming months, after the Minister for Health made a special visit to Wonthaggi last week to unveil the design plans.
But first, you’ll have the chance to have your say on the plans – which will see an extra 26,000 patients treated in the emergency department annually. And there will be an additional 187 carparks – all free.
Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos visited the hospital last Thursday, taking time to visit patient Geoff Murphy and his wife Hazel Landry in the emergency department.
“The attentive care provided in the hospital is just wonderful, but it will be great to see the space expanded so they can provide for more patients,” said Geoff.
Ms Mikakos said there was no doubt that the dedicated staff needed more space.
“I am pleased that we are providing better healthcare for this growing community,” she said.
The Victorian Government are providing three new surgical theatres, a new procedure room, a 32-bed inpatient ward and most importantly, an expanded emergency department.
“Eighteen additional treatment spaces will allow for the clinicians to care for an extra 26,000 emergency patients each year,” she said.
The minister also introduced herself to day patient and Phillip Island resident Margaret Lee, who now receives her blood transfusions close to home instead of travelling to Monash Medical Centre.
“We are not only improving the infrastructure of the hospital but we also provided an additional 3000 specialists appointments to Bass Coast Health this financial year, and it’s great to see the benefit it has made to Margaret’s life,” said Minister Mikakos.
Margaret was equally thrilled.
“I am so pleased to have the care in Wonthaggi, before this I was having to travel to Clayton for treatments and follow-up appointments,” said Margaret.
The upgrade will make a significant difference to the healthcare that the community needs and wants, especially during peak season.
The re-development designs will go out for community consultation in October and construction is due to commence in early 2020 and be completed by 2023.
“This is a big win for local construction jobs as well,” the Minister said, adding that 90 per cent of the work will be sourced locally.
“This is a big boost for the local economy because this project will create 345 new jobs.”
The carpark is also due to be expanded with an additional 187 carparks, and they will all be free.
Bass Coast Health CEO Jan Child said: “The community has been very clear that they would like the carpark to stay free, so that is a decision that we have made during this planning process.”
Bass MP Jordan Crugnale was in attendance for the release of the designs, stating that she has worked closely with the Minister and the board of Bass Coast Health to proceed to this next stage.
“The release of these plans means we are one step closer to the re-development and a step closer to caring for more patients close to home,” said Jordan.