The first stage of an upgrade to the ageing Daylesford Hospital has been confirmed, with the state government committing $4.5 million towards a rebuild of its operating theatres.
Last week's announcement of the operating theatre redevelopment came as the local community hit a milestone in its campaign to fund a hospital masterplan to upgrade many of the facilities in the 159-year-old hospital.
Residents of Daylesford and surrounding areas showed strong support for the hospital upgrade campaign, pledging $100,000 in donations to fund a hospital masterplan in just eight weeks.
The Daylesford Hospital Upgrade Committee had hoped to reach the $100,000 goal by Christmas and were overwhelmed to have the amount 10 weeks early after support from local businesses, community organisations and individuals.
"The demonstration of such strong support shows how important the hospital is to Daylesford residents," said chair of the Daylesford Hospital Upgrade Committee and Hepburn mayor Lesley Hewitt.
Cr Hewitt welcomed the $4.5 million upgrade as a first step toward the overall redevelopment of the hospital to bring it up to the standard needed for it to continue serving its community.
"It gives us confidence in the future of the hospital because you would not be spending $4.5 million otherwise ... so we assume that means they're not going to let the rest of the hospital buildings and facilities languish," she said.
The hospital, built in 1861, has been upgraded several times but not in the past 20 years.
Through the state government's Regional Health Infrastructure Fund, Central Highlands Rural Health secured $4.5 million to upgrade Daylesford Hospital's operating theatres and sterilizing areas, ensuring more locals can get the surgeries they need, closer to home.
"We know there is a lot to be done in Daylesford and this funding is a positive first step in our long-term goal to ensure Daylesford Hospital delivers contemporary, safe, high quality and sustainable health care for its local community," said Central Highlands Rural Health chief executive Maree Cuddihy.
Cr Hewitt had earlier said the hospital was in desperate need of upgrades to ensure it could care for the growing and ageing community of Daylesford and surrounds in to the future.
The $100,000 donated by the community will fund development of a master plan for the proposed upgrade to the facilities at Daylesford Health.
The operating theatres and sterilization facilities were high on the priority list for upgrading, which also includes extra room for dialysis, shared rooms replaced with single rooms and improved disability access.
"There are many spaces that are not fit for purpose or don't meet the expected standard for service provision. Thanks to groundswell of support from the community, the master plan will provide the vision for future redevelopment and ensure that we are investing in services aligned with our services planning," said Ms Cuddihy.
"A huge thanks to all the generous people who donated to reach this target of $100,000 in just over eight weeks," Cr Hewitt said.
IN OTHER NEWS
Members of the Daylesford Hospital upgrade committee met local MP Mary-Anne Thomas last week to discuss the upgrade and lobby for funding and support from the state government particularly in the lead up to next year's state election.
Central Highlands Rural Health also received $2.6 million from the Rural Residential Aged Care Facilities Program for stage three of redevelopments at Creswick Aged care which will upgrade the six remaining bedrooms, extend residents' common areas, install overhead tracking, and upgrade heating and cooling systems.
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