LATROBE Regional Hospital chair Kellie O’Callaghan has welcomed an overall six per cent increase in health funding in the state budget.
Ms O’Callaghan said it would address the “ever present issue of increasing service demand and accessibility”.
“A strong investment in health is essential to ease current pressures impacting on services not only in our region but state-wide,” she said.
“An approach that future-proofs the health system with a dedicated health capital program, particularly for regional and rural services is essential.
“I would like to think that as a result of the implementation of the Travis review recommendations that strategic infrastructure planning especially across regions will be a priority.”
Ms O’Callaghan said the capacity to have well developed and supported regional health infrastructure plans in acute, community and aged care would ensure greater sustainability and responsiveness across the health network.
“The health network is bigger than one service. Health services work together to ensure that broader regional priorities are highlighted and supported,” she said.
Last year’s state budget included $73 million for an expansion of LRH including two new double-storey buildings to address growing demand in the emergency department and decrease the number of heart patients needed to be transferred to Melbourne.
Ms O’Callaghan said the funding commitment was secure and early works were underway.
The expansion is due to be completed by 2017.