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VIC Budget: Hospital projects to create hundreds of construction jobs

Billions of dollars in capital for major infrastructure projects could be unlocked through tax incentives for projects worth more than $500 million, as part of a draft plan released by the Federal Government.

Funding for two new Victorian hospitals is set to create around 780 construction jobs, according to the state’s 2019/20 budget.

Around $60 million has been promised to build the Bendigo Hospital Day rehabilitation Centre, alongside $7 million set aside for the planning of the Latrobe Regional Hospital’s expansion.

The rehabilitation centre project includes the demolition of the old East and North wing tower buildings at the Bendigo hospital to create green open space for patients.

The project aims to gather the rehabilitation services spread throughout the hospital under the one roof and will include services such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy, social work, speech therapy, prosthetics or orthotics, clinical psychology and neuropsychology. A new hydrotherapy pool will also be built.

Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said the State Government had promised Bendigo patients and clinicians a new rehabilitation centre to help them recover and get on with their lives faster.

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“Patients have enough to worry about without needing to find where to go to access the services they need. Bringing them together under the one roof will make recovery that little bit easier,” she said.

The Latrobe Regional Hospital expansion will include the construction three new operating theatres. This will allow for 6200 extra elective surgeries to be completed each year and has the potential to cut waiting times.

Car parking will also be upgraded, with 227 new parking spaces to be built.

“This massive upgrade of Latrobe Regional Hospital will mean patients can get the first-class treatment they need to get back to full health, and nurses and doctors will have a hospital that backs them to do what they do best,” Mikakos said.

The Latrobe Regional Hospital project is expected to create 600 construction jobs, with Bendigo Hospital’s rehabilitation centre upgrade expected to create 180.

Works on both projects are expected to be completed by 2023.

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