BALLARAT Health Services has welcomed a $107 million "rescue package" for Victorian hospitals from the Federal Government.
The money will be given directly to hospitals, bypassing the State Government after a long-running dispute over health funding.
"We're absolutely delighted that the budget reduction of $2.8 million has been reversed," said BHS chief executive Andrew Rowe.
"We closed eight beds and we have not replaced approximately 25 positions. We had a freeze in the equipment."
Federal health minister Tanya Plibersek announced the funding this afternoon and blamed the State Government for the budget cuts.
"This funding injection will go directly to frontline hospital administrators so they can immediately restore services shut down by the Baillieu government in recent months," she said.
However Victorian health minister David Davis blamed the Federal Government.
"Serious damage has been done to the Victorian health system. It will take time to recover from this punishing act," he said.
"I pay tribute to the hospital boards, clinicians and communities who fought for their hospitals and patients."
Local politicians respond
Ballarat MP Catherine King, parliamentary secretary for health and ageing, welcomed her colleague's announcement.
"What has been increasingly clear through the Commonwealth's dispute with Victoria over hospital funding is that local hospitals are not getting their full share of Commonwealth funding," she said.
"The only way we can ensure that they do is by funding them directly."
Liberal candidate for Ballarat John Fitzgibbon called on Ms King to explain her role in the funding dispute.
"This is a major embarrassment for the parliamentary secretary for health and for the health minister," he said.
"The health cuts have been a big issue in the electorate and it is extremely disappointing that it has taken until they realised votes were going to be lost for this move."