Liberal and Labor commit to healthcare projects but no new hospital
Baw Baw News By William PJ Kulich // 16:18, Friday 28 November 2014
THE LABOR and Liberal parties have promised funding for projects at the Warragul Hospital ahead of tomorrow’s state election, but neither have promised funds for the construction of a new Warragul hospital.
Above: Health head-to-head: West Gippsland Healthcare Group board president Brian Davey, Liberal MP and candidate Gary Blackwood, Duncan Smith, Labor upper house candidate Harriet Shing, Labor Shadow Minister for Health Gavin Jennings and Labor candidate Kate Marten. Photos: William PJ Kulich.
Last week Labor Shadow Minister for Health Gavin Jennings, Narracan candidate Kate Marten and upper house candidate Harriet Shing announced a “comprehensive study” would be undertaken into the healthcare needs of West Gippsland should their party win the election.
This week Narracan Liberal MP and candidate Gary Blackwood has promised $2.5 million toward the expansion of the maternity ward and the construction of a new operating theatre at the hospital should the coalition remain in government.
Mr Blackwood has also promised $1 million to construct accommodation for visiting health professionals at the hospital.
Neither party has committed funding to build a new hospital on a new site previously acquired by the West Gippsland Healthcare Group, however Labor’s study promises to identify the needs of the region and the Liberals’ pitch would see short-term relief for the present, stretched hospital.
The election healthcare battle has extended beyond the Warragul hospital. Mr Blackwood has promised a new Mobile Intensive Care Ambulance Single Responder Unit for Warragul should the coalition remain in government, while Labor has promised improved pay for paramedics, $60 million to improve ambulance response times across the state and funding for 20 24/7 pharmacies across the state should it win government.
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