A PREDICTION of Ballarat's long term population growth soaring to near 150,000 by 2036 has seen a petition launched for a new hospital, but the State Government remains committed to its $461 million upgrade.
The Victoria In Future document released this month points to Ballarat's population closing in on 150,000 by 2036 with the greater city region to jump to as high as 250,000 by 2056.
A petition, which has been launched on the change.org website has called for the former saleyards site in Delacombe to be considered for the site of a new health precinct.
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"Members of parliament say there's no need for Ballarat to have a second public hospital (but) I'm yet to find a single member of the public who agrees with that statement," the petition says.
"We've given extra funding to the Base, by the time this construction is finished it will be outdated and needing re-doing again.
"The population of Ballarat and it's surrounding areas is increasing everyday. The health system in Ballarat is already overstretched and will only get worse if action isn't taken."
Digging deeper into the Victoria in Future report shows the biggest increase in Ballarat's population will come in the over 70s age group by 2036.
The report shows that in 2016, there were 11,785 residents aged 70 or above living in Ballarat. By 2036, that number is expected to more than double to 24,208.
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Ballarat Health Services Clinical Services Plan 2017-2037 shows it anticipates patient care will almost double in the coming 18 years.
"Projected demand for acute and subacute inpatient services over the period 2015-16 to 2036- 37 is expected to increase from 38,854 separations to 67,056 separations, a per annum growth rate of 2.6 per cent," the report says.
The former saleyards, on crown land is spread out over more than 12 hectares just south of Victoria Park. Early consultation and background research has been completed for future use of the site, but no document has been published as to what the future holds for the site.
The State Government has no plans to build a new hospital in Ballarat, saying it's $461.6 million upgrade slated to be completed by 2026 will fill the need.
A spokesperson for health minister Jenny Mikakos said the Department of Health and Human Services regularly assesses demand and population trends to ensure Victoria's health services meet the needs of communities.
"Our focus is on delivering a massive redevelopment of the hospital that will give local families the very best health care, close to home, for many generations to come," the spokesperson said.
To view the petition, click here.
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