FEDERAL Member for Bendigo Lisa Chesters says Labor’s plan to fix this region’s hospitals will benefit Central Victoria.
She says Labor’s $2.8 billion Better Hospitals Fund will reverse the Liberals’ cuts and be used to improve funding to every hospital in the country, fund vital upgrades, and drive down elective surgery and emergency department waiting times.
“This commitment will return public health funding to a 50-50 split between the states and Commonwealth,” Ms Chesters said.
Some $5.5 million of Labor’s Better Hospital fund will be injected into Central Victorian hospitals, including:
■Bendigo Health Care Group: $4,890,000
■Castlemaine Health: $430,000
■Heathcote Health: $40,000
■Kyneton District Health Service: $170,000
■Maldon Hospital: $20,000
“In Bendigo, we are privileged to have a brand new hospital,” Ms Chesters said.
“Castlemaine, Heathcote and Kyneton hospitals have had new operating and consultation rooms upgraded yet without the federal government contributing their fair share of operational funds, some beds are empty.”
A Labor government will also invest $2.4 billion in a Pensioner Dental Plan – giving up to three million older Australians access to free dental care.
If you receive an Age Pension or hold a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card, Labor’s Pensioner Dental Plan will give you $1,000 worth of free essential dental care, covered by Medicare, every two years.
Labor has also announced a $2.3 billion Medicare Cancer Plan, which will improve care and force down costs for cancer patients across the country.
Scott Morrison and the Liberal and National Party refused to commit to Labor’s plan to:
■Slash out-of-pocket costs by providing three million free specialist consultations and up to six million free scans.
■Slash public hospital waiting lists for cancer patients with a $500 million investment.
■Boost cancer research by $125 million.
■Pour $300 million into new cancer capital projects.
■Invest more in campaigns to curb lung cancer and skin cancer.
“I know from personal experience that travelling up and down the Calder for medical treatment is costly and taxing on families,” Ms Chesters said.
“If Central Victorians had the choice, most would decide to have their operations and treatments at a local hospital.”
Bendigo Health has been identified as one of the first 24 hospitals that will be funded to employ a dedicated metastatic cancer nurse – meaning locals will benefit from Labor’s investment from mid-2020.
A Labor government will also invest $3.7 million to fund nine extra Camp Quality Family Liaison Coordinators around Australia – including one at the Bendigo Hospital.
“Cancer is daunting at any age, but it is particularly challenging when diagnosed in children,” Ms Chesters said.
“Children in Bendigo who are battling this insidious disease deserve the best possible care and support.”