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Australia : Ballarat Hospital expansion ready to start.

Work is gearing up in preparation for the major Ballarat Hospital expansion and new helipad, with the construction due to commence within the next year, Minister for Health David Davis said today.

Mr Davis said the Victorian Coalition Government fully committed $46.4 million to the project in last year s Budget, and considerable planning work has gone on behind the scenes leading up to the next major milestone.

The project will deliver 60 extra beds for Ballarat Health Services, plus relocation of the ambulatory care services in a new three-storey building.

Detailed planning of the expansion works, in association with the design for the helipad, has gone on behind the scenes as we work towards the start of construction in early 2014, Mr Davis said.

The Victorian Coalition committed to this project before the last election, and our funding allocation in last year s Budget honored that pledge. This expansion is important for the community of Ballarat, Mr Davis said.

Mr Davis said the helipad would be based on top of a new multi-deck car park to be built as part of the expansion.

Local Labor Members opposed a helipad for Ballarat Base Hospital for eleven years and it has taken a Coalition Government to commit funding to this important project.

Having a helipad at the hospital will save vital minutes in time-critical transfers and emergency arrivals, and will save lives, Mr Davis said.

With Ballarat being a vital centre in emergency health services servicing the western half of Victoria, immediate access for medical helicopters is long overdue.

The expansion is due to be completed by mid-2016. The redevelopment is expected to generate more than 130 new construction jobs.

Ballarat is also benefiting from funding to develop a five-bed mother-baby mental health unit, as part of a $6 million package.

Mr Davis said these capital works were part of more than $4 billion worth of health infrastructure already underway through the Coalition Government.

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Publication:Mena Report
Date:May 14, 2013
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