AN extra three storeys would be built on the Ballarat Base Hospital’s Drummond Street building, leading to an extra 93 beds at the facility under a Liberal Party plan for an $83 million expansion.
Premier Denis Napthine made the major announcement early on Thursday morning, with the commitment one of the biggest Ballarat has seen on the election trail so far.
Along with the bed capacity, the expansion will include construction of new speciality operating theatres at the facility and the redevelopment of the mental health unit’s existing 12-bed Secure Extended Care Unit.
The expansion would also include the construction of a second cardiac catheter laboratory which has also been committed to by Labor.
Dr Napthine said the expansion would help to cater for additional growth expected across the region
“I think it will be an important thing for all Ballarat families and the region,” he said.
Dr Napthine said the expansion would be built and beds would be available within the next term of government if the Coalition was re-elected.
He also announced the facility would gain a share of a $20 million fund to create a partnership between the Royal Children’s Hospital and the Ballarat Base Hospital called RCH@Ballarat which would lead to more paediatric services being offered at the facility.
“It doesn’t matter if you are in the Ballarat district, or Edenhope or Kaniva, Ballarat will be the hospital of choice for paediatrics, with special assistance form the Royal Children’s Hospital,” he said.
Ballarat Health Services acting chief executive Andrew Kinnersly said he was delighted with the announcement.
“It is really significant in terms of capacity, in terms of in patient beds and theatre capacity. It certainly is great to see the cardiovascular unit receive funding as well,” he said.
Mr Kinnersly said in particular the refurbishment of the secure extended care unit was much needed.
“It is well dated and not as functional as we would like, so that is good news for us,” he said.