Lisa Chesters at Bendigo Health.

Federal member for Bendigo Lisa Chesters announced a $5.5 million funding pledge for central Victorian hospitals this week, that will see nearly $5 million for Bendigo Health.

“This will help reduce waiting lists, employ more nurses and open more beds,” Ms Chesters said.

If the Labor Party is elected after the May 18 election, Ms Chesters said the party is committed to returning public health funding to a 50-50 split between the states and the Commonwealth.

“At the moment it’s a 45-55 split,” Ms Chesters said.

The $4.89 million for Bendigo Health will go straight into their operating budget and they will make decisions on how to best allocate the funds.

The funding is part of a number of health initiatives announced by Labor and is covered under the $2.8 billion Better Hospitals Fund.

This is in addition to the $2.3 billion Medicare Cancer Plan and $2.4 billion pensioner Dental Plan.

“If you are a pensioner or someone on a senior’s health care card, you will receive up to $1000 every two years to help with dental costs,” Ms Chesters said.

“This is a practical measure that will help people on fixed retirement incomes,” she said.

Castlemaine Health will receive $430,000, with services in Kyneton, Heathcote and Maldon also promised funding.