GIVING PATIENTS IN GEELONG AND THE BELLARINE THE BEST CARE

A re-elected Andrews Labor Government will deliver better care for people in Geelong, the Surf Coast and the Bellarine, with more specialist appointments, better ambulance services and a new community hospital in Torquay.

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 – but there’s more to do.

Labor will replace the small, ageing Torquay Community Health Centre with a new community hospital. The new hospital will have a greater range of urgent care services including chemotherapy and paediatric care. Construction of the Torquay Community Hospital is expected to start in 2022 and be complete in 2024.

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 the Geelong and Barwon region, patients will be able to access 49,900 additional specialist appointments over the next four years.

Right now, many regional patients are required to travel to Melbourne for treatment and appointments, 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.

To boost care further for local families, Labor will upgrade the Ocean Grove ambulance branch, and fund more paramedics in Geelong and dedicated MICA officers for the Bellarine as part of a $109 million investment in ambulance services across regional Victoria.

The former Liberal Government slashed funding to health and went to war with our paramedics, causing 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 Australian mainland.

We’ve ended the war on paramedics, reversed the savage Liberal cuts and delivered the best ambulance response times on record. New data released today shows 86.68 per cent of ambulances arrived at Code 1 emergencies within 15 minutes in the City of Greater Geelong, compared with 82.20 per cent 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 Bellarine Lisa Neville

"We're ensuring wherever you live - in Geelong, the Surf Coast or the Bellarine, you'll get the health care you need as soon as possible."

Quote attributable to Member for Geelong Christine Couzens

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

Quote attributable to Member for Lara John Eren

“Our hard-working doctors and nurses do a tremendous job caring for us all – we’ll always stand with them and invest in the vital services they provide to help them do what they do best and that’s saving lives.”

Quote attributable to Candidate for South Barwon Darren Cheeseman

“The new Torquay Community Hospital will give locals a greater range of health services close to home, so they don’t need to travel to Geelong and beyond to get the care they need.”