The Andrews government is promising a multibillion-dollar revamp of a Melbourne hospital and plans to rename it after the late Queen Elizabeth II.
- The Victorian Government has pledged a billion-dollar upgrade to a hospital in Melbourne’s east
- Maroondah Hospital will be renamed Queen Elizabeth II Hospital under the plan
- The announcement comes just a day after a similar funding announcement by the Coalition
The government has announced it will spend between $850 billion and $1.05 billion to renovate and expand Maroondah Hospital in Ringwood if it is returned to government at the state election in November.
The proposal will see the new Queen Elizabeth II Hospital get a new emergency department, operating rooms and more than 200 extra in-patient beds.
The tender process for the development will begin after the November 26 state election.
If development goes ahead, construction would begin in 2025 with the new facility opening in phases from 2029.
Premier Daniel Andrews said the size and scope of the redevelopment plan meant the hospital would be transformed into a new facility.
“It’s so big it’s essentially a brand new Maroondah Hospital and the new hospital in the east needs a new name,” Mr Andrews said.
“I can think of no better way to recognize the profound contribution, duty and service that the late Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II gave to our state and the people of Melbourne and Victoria.”
The coalition is making good on its $400 million funding pledge
The announcement comes simply a day after the coalition promised $400 million to upgrade Marunda Hospitalpart of the opposition’s $6 billion health care reform package.
According to the coalition’s plan, the upgrade also includes a new emergency department and an additional 100 beds.
Opposition Leader Matthew Guy said the Coalition’s announcement on Saturday was only part of a nationwide package of health reforms and criticized the timing of Mr Andrew’s announcement.
“When [the premier] really wanted to put a billion dollars into Maroondah Hospital, he had eight years to do it,” Mr Guy said.
“The guy’s been there a long time and now he’s standing up for election and saying, ‘Trust me, I’m here to solve the problem.’
“He caused the problem.”
Mr Andrews played down any link between the announcements and said the Coalition had not provided enough detail about its plans.
“They have little to do with what we are announcing today, and they show it with the absolute inadequacy of the commitments they made yesterday,” he said.
“Providing half or less than half of what is needed is wrong.”
Mr Andrews questioned the Coalition’s funding proposal, claiming the new emergency department alone would cost $375 million to build.
Mr Guy rejected the claim and said he was confident the funding would be forthcoming.
“We made the commitment through the Parliamentary Budget Office, which is much more independent than the Labor state government,” Mr Guy said.
“This guy is not going to lecture us when it comes to fixing our health care system.”