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.
Minister for Health Jill Hennessy today visited Austin Health to officially open the final six new beds which will be used to expand elective surgery and treat an additional 750 patients a year.
Ms Hennessy was also joined by former AMA President Dr Douglas Travis to launch a new independent body, Better Care Victoria, to drive innovation across the Victorian health system so all Victorians can access the care they need, when they need it.
Better Care Victoria was a key recommendation from the Travis Review, the most comprehensive audit ever undertaken in the capacity of Victoria’s hospitals, and will help drive improvements by identifying and funding innovative projects that can be scaled up across our health system.
It will provide advice on healthcare innovation and help improve outcomes for patients and reduce waiting lists by improving capacity and productivity in Victoria’s public hospitals.
Dr Travis has been appointed Chair of Better Care Victoria, and joining him on the Board is a wealth of clinical and leadership experience including Dr Victoria Atkinson, Ms Robyn Hudson, Ms Janet Matton, Associate Professor Harvey Newnham, Ms Kellie O’Callaghan, and Mrs Wendy Wood.
Dr Bronwyn Morkham, Mrs Jacqueline Phillips and Mrs Sue Williams will also provide expert advice.
The Travis Review also found long term planning was needed to improve the capacity of Victoria’s public hospitals and ensure resources were better utilised to meet increasing patient demand.
In response, the Labor Government is developing a Statewide Strategic Services and Infrastructure Plan that will set out a 20-year vision to shape Victoria’s health system.
A Ministerial Advisory Council, led by Ms Patricia Fawkner AO, has been established and work is already underway on the development of the first plan which will be published in 2017 and will have a focus on the next five years.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Jill Hennessy
“We’re investing in and improving Victoria’s health system to ensure all Victorians get the right care, in the right place, at the right time.”
“We know we need to do things differently to ensure our health system is able to cope with increasing demand as a result of our ageing and growing population –and Better Care Victoria will help us do just that.”
“In less than a year, we have delivered 101 new beds and points of care as promised, so more Victorian patients can get the treatment they need sooner.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020