A re-elected Andrews Labor Government will deliver better care for people in Bendigo and Central Victoria – with more specialists and better ambulance services with more paramedics.

When a loved one gets sick, families deserve the peace of mind that the very best care is just around the corner. That’s why the Labor Government has made record investments to build the world-class hospitals and health services that communities can count on – including here in Bendigo, but there’s more to do.

That’s why Labor will put more world-leading specialists into the regions, paving the way for 500,000 more specialist appointments in regional and rural Victoria over the next four years. In Bendigo, patients will be able to access 27,000 additional specialist appointments over the next four years.

Right now, many regional patients are required to travel to Melbourne for appointments and treatment, or face big out-of-pocket costs for a local private appointment.

With private specialist appointments costing between $175 and $565, this investment has the potential to save Victorian patients thousands of dollars. It will mean regional patients won’t be spending hours away from loved ones to access specialist care.

We will also establish an easy-to-access registry for GPs, with up-to-date information about individual hospital wait lists, so that country patients can be seen faster – and closer to home.

Labor will also invest $60 million to complete Bendigo Hospital’s rebuild with a day rehabilitation centre and the demolition of the East and North Wing tower buildings. The new rehabilitation centre will bring together services such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy and neuropsychology onto one site.

To boost care even further for local families, Labor will fund more paramedics in Bendigo, with Inglewood and Rochester becoming dual officer stations as part of a $109 million investment in ambulance services across regional Victoria.

All Liberal governments cut and close. The Kennett Liberal Government closed 12 hospitals across the state – including Elmore – and the former Liberal Government slashed funding to health and went to war with our paramedics.

This caused the rate of ambulances arriving at Code 1 emergencies within 15 minutes to deteriorate to a record low of 73 per cent – the worst on the mainland.

We’ve ended the war on our paramedics, reversed the savage Liberal cuts and delivered the best ambulance response times on record. New data released today shows 80.45 per cent of ambulances arrived at Code 1 emergencies within 15 minutes, compared with 77.53 per cent in Bendigo for the same period 12 months prior.

Quote attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews

“Four years ago I made a promise to fix the ambulance crisis and we have. But there’s more to do, and only Labor can be trusted to back our paramedics.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Health Jill Hennessy

“Victorians can’t afford to go back to the days where patients were left dying because an ambulance couldn’t get there in time. Only Labor will give people confidence that in an emergency, they’ll get the life-saving care they need.”

Quote attributable to Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan

“It was a Labor Government that rebuilt Bendigo’s Hospital, but we know there’s more to do. We’ll provide more paramedics and give locals more access to specialist care, closer to home.”

Quote attributable to Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards

“This boost to paramedics will improve care and save lives, and builds on our record investment in health and ambulance services in Bendigo and across Central Victoria.”

HealthDan Andrewspolicy6