Premier Ted Baillieu visited Ballarat Base Hospital today with Mental Health Minister Mary Wooldridge to announce Ballarat Health Services had received funding to develop a five-bed mother-baby service as part of $6 million package announced in the 2012-13 Budget.
In addition, Ballarat Base Hospital also received $46.4 million in last week's State Budget for a major redevelopment and helipad.
Mr Baillieu said the $46.4 million announced in last week's State Budget would provide an additional 60 beds at Ballarat Base Hospital and allow for the relocation of the ambulatory care services to a new three-storey building.
"As well, a long-awaited helipad will be sited on top of a new multi-deck car park to be built at the hospital, and the carpark will help to ease traffic congestion in Ballarat's medical precinct," Mr Baillieu said.
"This project is a significant step in sustaining key construction jobs in our state, while at the same delivering even more health services to residents in Ballarat and beyond."
Mental Health Minister Mary Wooldridge said the five-bed mother-baby unit would ensure new mothers who experienced mental health issues could access top quality mental health care locally.
"Women will be able to stay together with their babies and continue to develop and gain confidence in their vital mothering role while receiving treatment and care," Ms Wooldridge said.
"At the same time, mothers and their babies will remain close to the support of their partners and families."
Ms Wooldridge said Ballarat was becoming a regional leader in the delivery of closely integrated hospital and community-based mental health and associated health and support services.
"I am confident that this new mother and baby unit will be of real benefit to the community and we look forward to seeing the work start," Ms Wooldridge said.
Victoria has 20 funded mother-baby beds located at the Monash Medical Centre, Austin Hospital and Werribee Mercy Hospital. The first regional unit is currently being developed in Bendigo as part of the Coalition's election commitment to expand these services into regional Victoria.
Mr Baillieu said health care capital works projects funded in the State Budget would deliver jobs across Victoria, with the creation of more than 700 new construction jobs.
"The redevelopment of Ballarat Base Hospital will generate about 130 new construction jobs," Mr Baillieu said.
"There will be more than 560 jobs created by upgrades to hospitals across regional Victoria including at Geelong, Castlemaine, Kilmore, Charlton, Warrnambool and Swan Hill.
"These new jobs come on top of the 735 construction jobs at the $630 million Bendigo Hospital redevelopment," Mr Baillieu said.
"New health infrastructure projects in regional Victoria are not only vital in boosting access to health services, but are also important in stimulating Victoria's economy and creating more jobs," Mr Baillieu said.
"These projects deliver substantial economic benefits for Victoria and the local community, with additional flow-on jobs supported in offsite industries such as design and manufacturing."
Table: 2012-13 Budget jobs created
|Capital works project||Funding||Details||Jobs|
|Ballarat Hospital||$46 million||Provide 60 beds, ambulatory care and helipad||129|
|Castlemaine Hospital||$10 million||Upgrade hospital including new second theatre||36|
|Geelong Hospital||$93 million||64 extra beds, care for older patients and boost to cancer care||211|
|Warrnambool||$5 million||Establish radiotherapy services in Warrnambool||15|
|Charlton Hospital||$23 million||Replace hospital damaged by floods||45|
|Kilmore Hospital||$20 million||Redevelop hospital with 30 extra beds||60|
|Swan Hill Hospital||$18 million||Redevelop residential aged care facilities||51|
|Regional mental health services||$ 6 million||Two five-bed mother-baby mental health services in regional Victoria||15|