The Victorian Coalition Government is building a healthier Geelong by investing $28 million in Barwon Health North, which will deliver health care close to home, Premier Dr Denis Napthine and Minister for Health David Davis said today.
“The Coalition Government is making our health system healthier and Barwon Health North will strengthen health care not only in northern Geelong, but for the entire city,” Dr Napthine said.
Dr Napthine said the Coalition Government recognised the benefits of health services closer to home in Victoria’s largest regional city.
“The Coalition Government’s investment in Barwon Health North will see that need met in Geelong’s growing northern suburbs.
“It will complement the Coalition Government’s commitment to new public hospital services in Geelong’s southern suburbs and the major tertiary hospital facilities provided in central Geelong by Barwon Health.
“This builds on the $200 million worth of health infrastructure investment in Geelong, including a $93.3 million, 64 bed expansion of the Geelong Hospital.
“Barwon Health North will provide an innovative and integrated community-based ambulatory care service model.
“It will provide local access to expanded services and minimise avoidable emergency department presentations and admissions at Geelong Hospital, through the development of an urgent care centre,” Dr Napthine said.
The services at the existing Corio community health centre would be incorporated into Barwon Health North to provide a wider suite of services, Mr Davis said.
“A service plan prepared by the Department of Health in conjunction with Barwon Health identified Geelong’s northern suburbs as an area of high health service need.
“Currently around a third of the non-urgent Category 4 and 5 patients who attend the Geelong Hospital’s emergency department are from the northern suburbs,” Mr Davis said.
“A significant number of these patients do not need to be admitted to hospital, and would be better served by attending a facility such as Barwon Health North for treatment or management of their illness or condition.
“Barwon Health North will have an urgent care centre that will reduce demand on the emergency department at Geelong Hospital.
“It will be far more convenient for local residents to attend Barwon Health North, located in the northern suburbs, to provide this assessment and treatment.
“Barwon Health North will enable an expanded range of services to be provided in the heart of the northern suburbs and prevent, where possible, avoidable hospital presentations and admissions at Geelong,” Mr Davis said.
Barwon Health North will have medical imaging facilities, including x-ray facilities and a CT scanner, a pathology centre with collection and analysis rooms and a pharmacy.
Member for South Barwon Andrew Katos, Liberal Candidate for Geelong Paula Kontelj and Liberal Candidate for Bellarine Ron Nelson welcomed the announcement.
“This is a great announcement for Geelong and districts, ensuring the best possible health care for the region,” Mr Katos said.