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Better health outcomes needed for Southern Peninsula residents

At the 2022 Victorian Election, the two major parties took part in a health and hospital funding arms race.

Labor and the Coalition made significant pledges across every corner of Victoria, hoping to attract voters with health front of their minds following the 2020-21 pandemic.

The Coalition Opposition made health-related promises to the tune of $12.37 billion, while the Labor Government made pledges of almost $10 billion.  

Residents in Melton, Caulfield, Sandringham, Werribee, Ringwood, Box Hill, Wantirna, Benalla, Wonthaggi, West Gippsland, Melbourne, Clayton, St Arnoud, Wodonga, Plenty Valley and Daylesford were the lucky winners, with commitments from one or both of the major parties for significant hospital upgrades.

Most of these locations are worthy of State Government support and investment in health services and infrastructure – but when it comes to the southern peninsula, health funding is a little harder to come by.

At the same election, the Coalition made a significant commitment of $340 million to redevelop Rosebud Hospital. In the context of the health funding arms race at the time, you could forgive the southern peninsula community for expecting a matched commitment from the Victorian Government.

Unfortunately, a financial commitment from the government was not forthcoming. The hospital funding arms race had come to a screeching halt in Rosebud.

At the previous 2018 Victorian State Election, our region secured a $1.1 billion redevelopment of Frankston Hospital – a project which is well underway and expected to be treating patients in 2026. This significant investment in heath in our community is arguably the biggest in generations for the peninsula – a world class hospital right here in Frankston.

The contrast to the southern peninsula is stark, particularly during the peak summer period when Rosebud Hospital is running at full capacity.

Just last Wednesday on a day with extreme temperatures, Rosebud emergency services were inundated. Not that we needed one, but it was yet another reminder of how hardworking our local nurses, doctors and healthcare workers are in this part of Metropolitan Melbourne.

Rosebud Hospital is over 50 years old, and it serves a growing and diverse community which is home to one of the largest populations of older residents in Victoria.

Significant upgrades to emergency facilities, operating theatres, and wards would lead to more services closer to home for residents, less travel and wait times, better facilities and improved outcomes for patients.

The Committee will continue to advocate for an upgraded hospital in Rosebud because we know business, locals, and the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council want this to happen.

When you live in metropolitan Melbourne, the local hospital needs to be fit for purpose – and it can’t be more than 45 minutes away from your home.

Whichever party sits on the government benches in Spring St or in Canberra come 2026, the Committee looks forward to advocating with purpose for a redevelopment of Rosebud Hospital and better health outcomes for southern peninsula residents.