16 March 2016

The Andrews Labor Government has fulfilled its commitment to open 101 new beds and points of care through the $200 million Beds Rescue Fund, less than one year after they were promised.

Member for the Western Metropolitan Region, Cesar Melhem MP, said the $200 million Fund had delivered four new critical care beds at Western Health and eight new acute multiday beds at Werribee Mercy Hospital.
These new beds, which are already fully operational, will mean an extra 484 patients will be treated each year at Western Health and 925 patients at Werribee Mercy Hospital.

The beds will be used to expand Western Health's critical care capacity and Mercy Hospital's medical and surgical capacity.
Such progress, however, will be undermined by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's recent $73 million cut to Victoria's health funding.
Victoria's health system is already under immense pressure from Malcolm Turnbull's impending $17.7 billion cut to health funding, yet these new cuts will see Western Health $4.973 million and Werribee Mercy Hospital $2.332 million worse off. This funding could have been used to treat 72,000 chemotherapy patients, attend to 180,000 emergency department presentations, or provide almost 12,000 elective surgeries.
Last year, former AMA Victoria President Dr Douglas Travis carried out the most comprehensive review ever undertaken into the capacity of Victoria's hospitals.
In line with his recommendations, the 2015-16 Victorian Budget delivered $200 million to open 101 beds and points of care at hospitals across the state, which will treat nearly 20,000 extra patients every year.
While we have delivered on this promise to open 101 new beds and points of care in less than a year, the former Liberal Government, despite promising 800 new beds only managed to open 88 in three years.

Quotes attributable to Member for Western Metropolitan Cesar Melhem
In less than a year, we have opened 101 new beds and points of care as promised including four at Western Health and eight at Werribee Mercy Hospital so patients in the Western Suburbs can access the care they need, when they need it.
Under the former Liberal Government, patients were waiting too long in emergency departments and for elective surgery. This is no surprise given the Liberals opened just 88 beds in three years.
Our Beds Rescue Fund will mean 484 extra patients at Western Health and 925 patients at Werribee Mercy Hospital will get the treatment they need sooner.