BENDIGO Health has been promised $60 million to fit out the old hospital building as a rehabilitation centre, and demolish the towers at the Anne Caudle centre, if Labor is returned to government.
Premier Daniel Andrews and health minister Jill Hennessy announced the election promise at Bendigo Hospital this morning.
The work will complete the redevelopment of Bendigo’s hospital precinct which also includes services secondary to health including accommodation for families and child care services.
The refitting of the old hospital represents stage three of the hospital’s redevelopment.
It will bring together allied health services in the one centre, including physiotherapy, occupational therapy, social work, speech therapy, prosthetics and orthotics, clinical psychology and neuropsychology which are currently spread across the hospital.
It will be accessible to people recovering from injuries and illness.
“When people go to hospital, they often don’t thing about rehabilitation, and rehabilitation is really important for people who have had a stroke, who have been in an accident, have some kind of neurological injury,” said Ms Hennessy.
“It is absolutely important that we have really good rehabilitation services to support poeple to go on and have full and dignified lives.”
Mr Daniels said the start of work in 2021 allowed time to move services without disruption, and then to demolish the towers.
In 2012, the buildings were deemed non-compliant after failing to meet fire-safety standards.
The site of the towers will become a park.
He said the work was not part of the private public partnership that built the first two stages of the hospital.
The new rehabilitation centre is expected to be complete by 2023.