Better Mental Health Care For Patients In Geelong

More people in Geelong with acute mental illness will have better access to the intensive care services they need thanks to new funding from the Andrews Labor Government.

Acting Minister for Health Martin Foley and Member for Geelong Christine Couzens today announced $6.8 million for two projects to revitalise mental health services at Barwon Health.

Barwon Health will receive $3 million from the Labor Government’s $200 million Regional Health Infrastructure Fund.

A further $3.8 million is being invested from the Mental Health and Alcohol and Other Drugs Facilities Renewal Fund and other programs.

About $3 million will go towards the remodelling of the Swanston Centre Mental Health Acute Unit at University Hospital Geelong.

A purpose-built seclusion space and a four-bed intensive care area for assessment and treatment will create a safer and more secure environment to care for the most acutely unwell patients.

The refurbishment will create 19 jobs during construction, and is expected to be completed in 2019.

Barwon Health is also receiving $485,000 to upgrade the hydrotherapy pool at the McKellar Centre. The new pool tiles, pool deck and change rooms will provide patients who require hydrotherapy with the very best facilities.

The Victorian Budget 2017/18 delivered a massive $1.67 billion to help hospitals meet demand and provide high quality care Victorian patients deserve, in addition to more than $509 million for Barwon Health.

This is in stark contrast to Malcolm Turnbull who has declared his intentions to short-change Victoria’s hospitals by $2.1 billion – and put patients at risk.

Across Geelong, this will hit patients and local families hard with a near $100 million shortfall for Barwon Health.

That equates to 334 fewer doctors, 797 fewer nurses or 16,048 fewer surgeries.

Quotes attributable to Acting Minister for Health Martin Foley

“We’re making sure more people in Geelong with acute mental illness have access to the treatment services they need, as soon as they need them.”

“These projects will revitalise mental health care in Geelong, allowing for safer and more secure care and management of acutely unwell patients.”

Quote attributable to Member for Geelong Christine Couzens

“Geelong’s health care workforce deserves the very best facilities so they can continue their life-saving work and help more Victorians who are living with a mental illness. That’s what we’re delivering.”

Quote attributable to Member for Lara John Eren

“While we’re giving more people in Geelong the health care they need, Malcolm Turnbull and his Liberal mates continue to short-change Victorians on critical health funding.”