Australia’s Biggest Hospital Project To Boost Research

04 October 2022

In a new partnership between the Andrews Labor Government and the University of Melbourne, Victoria’s world-leading biomedical precinct at Parkville will receive major upgrades and a significant boost to staff training facilities.

Yesterday, the Labor Government announced the biggest hospital infrastructure project in Australia – with a $5-6 billion expansion of hospitals and research facilities at Arden and Parkville set to deliver entirely new campuses at the Royal Melbourne Hospital (RMH) and Royal Women’s Hospital.

Today, the Government and the University of Melbourne announced a massive investment in the future of biomedical research facilities as part of the redevelopment of the adjoining Parkville precinct.

The upgraded Parkville precinct will cement Victoria’s status as a global leader in medical research, developing fit-for-purpose sites that will attract more studies and clinical trials, while also providing the most modern facilites for our doctors, teachers and researchers.

The redevelopment will also include a new dedicated Clinical Trials Centre with additional research space at Arden and training facilities to support the next generation of healthcare workers.

The Government will establish the new Victorian Digital Health Command, embracing the technology that has revolutionised healthcare and giving Victorians the opportunity to access telehealth for convenience and efficiency.

It will provide a way for the RMH and the Women's to support regional, rural and smaller metropolitan services to care for patients locally through virtual care and specialist clinician-to-clinician consultation, streamlining patient flow and improving access to specialist services across Victoria.

The University of Melbourne will co-design the Digital Health Command, which will also monitor health outcomes – providing data to support future clinical trials and the development of cutting edge medical technology.

The University will also build a new medical and health sciences school, demonstrating that the Labor Government’s investment is helping drive growth in the precinct.

Having world leading health institutions and hospitals located in the same precinct at Parkville will further enhance the cooperation and collaboration between them, as well as improving connections to the rest of the city.

With the precinct located next to the Parkville Metro Tunnel station, it will create a health, research and education corridor between the Royal Melbourne Hospital and other key hospitals and health services.

As part of the project, the Government is also releasing the Parkville Precinct Opportunity Statement, which will continue important work to keep the precinct buzzing as a pre-eminent biomedical, health and research hub – on par with those in Boston and London.

The statement will keep Victoria at the forefront of medical research, ensuring we remain globally connected in the field and continue driving jobs, investment and innovation.

These developments support any future expansion of the precinct, including growth of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI) and options for the future co-location of developments such as the Australian Centre for Disease Control.

The Government has a strong track record of backing medical research, including onshore manufacturing of life-saving mRNA vaccines and the Australian-first Generation Victoria study, looking into the health and wellbeing of thousands of babies.

In July, the Government launched its Health and Medical Research Strategy: 2022-2032, outlining a vision for Victoria to be a global leader in medical research by supporting more breakthroughs, driving economic growth, creating jobs and saving lives.

Since 2014, we’ve invested more than $1.3 billion in medical research – including $400 million for the Australian Institute for Infectious Disease and bringing Moderna’s first mRNA vaccine manufacturing facility in the Southern Hemisphere to Melbourne.

Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews

“Our vision for this project doesn’t stop at new and upgraded hospitals, we’re also developing some of the best medical research and education precincts in the world – and all of that means the very best of care for Victorians.”

“Victorians have worked hard to earn our reputation as a global leader in biomedicine, and now, we’re cementing our status as a global powerhouse of research and development.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Business Precincts Ben Carroll

“World-class research facilities for our doctors, teachers and researchers will draw investments to Victoria from around the world and generate thousands of jobs – that’s good news for our economy and great news for Victorians.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy Jaala Pulford

“We’re pleased to partner with the University of Melbourne for what will be a significant boost to Victoria’s biomedical research and training capacity – and one that will mean better and faster treatments for the patients who need them.”

Quotes attributable to Melbourne University Vice Chancellor Prof. Duncan Maskell

“The hospital upgrades and the development of the new Arden medical precinct will drive clinical and research training, and research translation across a range of specialty areas such as cardiology, clinical haematology, dementia, neurology and stroke, mental health and neuropsychiatry.

“The world-class upgrades together with the University of Melbourne’s ongoing commitment to collaborative education and practice, will equip the next generation of allied health professionals, doctors, and nurses with the skills to enter the health services workforce.”

Reviewed 04 October 2022

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