Hospital beds to open with $200 million rescue fund


Minister for Health media release 5 May 2015.

The 2015-16 Victorian Budget will deliver $200 million for the Hospital Beds Rescue Fund to open new hospital beds and points of care and enable hospitals to admit more than 19,800 extra patients every year.

In April, surgeon and former AMA Victoria President Dr Doug Travis released his Interim Report following the most comprehensive review ever undertaken into the capacity of Victoria’s hospitals.

After four years of neglect and $1 billion in cuts to the health system by the former Liberal Government, Victorians are waiting too long for treatment at emergency departments and for elective surgery.

This will only worsen, with the Abbott Government set to cut $13.6 billion from our public hospitals over the next ten years.

As part of his Review, Dr Travis surveyed all 86 public health services across Victoria to identify the number of beds and theatres at each health service, and how many of those are currently operational and how many are ‘closed’.

Dr Travis identified that there is currently a mismatch between demand for and supply of beds and points of care across the State.

Based on his findings, and taking into account the need to reduce waiting times and improve equity of access, Dr Travis provided the Labor Government with recommendations about how the $200 million Hospital Beds Rescue Fund could be allocated.

These recommendations have been adopted in full (see attached).

The $200 million Hospital Beds Rescue Fund will enable hospitals to increase capacity, treat more patients sooner and reduce elective surgery waits and waiting times in emergency departments.

The former Liberal Government promised 800 new hospital beds would be delivered during their term of government but failed.

The Labor Government is determined to ensure that our hospitals have the capacity to provide an enhanced level of treatment for Victorians.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health, Jill Hennessy

“The Andrews Labor Government is investing $200 million to open beds and theatres across Victoria so that our loved ones can get the care they need.”

“Victorians have been waiting too long for treatment. This funding will enable hospitals to treat more patients and treat them sooner.”

“Dr Travis’ Interim Report revealed the immense size of the challenge we face to fix Victoria’s health system after four years of neglect by the former Liberal Government.”

Recommended allocation of the $200 million Hospital Bed Rescue Fund (PDF 126kb)

Recommended allocation of the $200 million Hospital Bed Rescue Fund (DOCX 2.18mb)